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Southeast Volusia Regional Economic Development Summit: Fostering Growth and Collaboration

Southeast Volusia Chamber of Commerce meeting

In June, the Southeast Volusia Chamber of Commerce (SEV) hosted its third annual Regional Economic Development Summit. The summits bring together local business leaders, government officials from New Smyrna Beach, Edgewater, Oak Hill and Volusia County, and community stakeholders. Also included in these dynamic planning sessions is the East Central Florida Regional Planning Council, Southeast Volusia Manufacturing and Technology Coalition and the Volusia County Association of Responsible Development. The summits facilitate opportunities for the local governments and stakeholders to work collaboratively regarding strategizing the future of economic growth in the Southeast Volusia region.

During the initial inception of the summits, the participants agreed to a collaborative regional approach, as there were overlapping similarities in each of the individual community’s current economic development plans. The Summit emphasized the significance of collective efforts in steering economic development forward and addressed a wide array of economic development topics relevant to the region, including current challenges and future opportunities. By leveraging unique assets and competitive strengths of each city in the region, a groundwork was created for future partnerships and collaborations.

A series of insightful discussions occurred, and out of the discussions, participants identified target industries that were preferred and appropriate for Southeast Volusia. Those target industries included Aviation and Aerospace, Light Industry, including manufacturing, Recreation, Boat Building and Marine Equipment including supplies and services, and Corporate Professional Office Headquarters.

Attendees actively participated in brainstorming sessions, problem-solving exercises, and vision-building activities, fostering a spirit of collaboration and innovation. The results of these sessions identified five key objectives for the regional plan: 1. Regional infrastructure planning; 2. Re-envision geographic corridors/areas to focus on economic generating land-uses (non-residential) and examine zoning and land-uses to determine potential for more innovative approaches to facilitate a mix of uses including light industrial/commercial/office and residential; 3. Education and workforce development opportunities; 4. Action plans for ongoing collaboration; and 5. Initiatives to elevate the region’s resilience and ability to recover from state, national and global economic events.

The regional summits have proved to be resounding successes, with attendees leaving the events invigorated and inspired. Since the first regional planning summit, all governmental entities have adopted the Commercial Space Industry Opportunity Overlay amendment into their comprehensive plans and have formally adopted the Southeast Volusia Economic Development Strategic Plan. With the collaborative adoption of the Regional Strategic Plan, Southeast Volusia can jointly apply for a variety of state and federal grants to support infrastructure improvements, workforce training facilities, industrial parks, business incubators, and various economic development studies.

By bringing together diverse stakeholders, sharing knowledge, and facilitating collaboration, the Southeast Volusia Chamber demonstrated its dedication to steering Southeast Volusia towards a prosperous and sustainable future.

As the region grows, the insights and work accomplished at the summits will serve as a foundation for future initiatives. The collective efforts of businesses, government, and community members are instrumental in realizing the shared vision of a vibrant and thriving economic landscape in Southeast Volusia. With continued dedication and collaboration, the future looks bright for this dynamic and promising region.

To learn more about the SEV Chamber of Commerce please visit www.sevchamber.com

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