Introduction (

Communities that take action to build and enhance their local economies while staying true to what makes them unique have a competitive advantage. Seizing that advantage, the Competitive Florida Partnership helps a community value those assets that makes them special and challenges them to set realistic goals for advancing their economic development visions. A community that participates in this technical assistance opportunity is committed to innovative strategies that promote partnerships, community design, and a viable economy. This partnership will create a network of vibrant communities and passionate leaders who gain ideas on how to reach their goals through the success and lessons learned from their peers.

Competitive Florida: Community - Economy - Leadership

How the Partnership Works

First steps:

  1. The Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) will get to know the needs of your community.
  2. Discuss your strategy with other members of the community and DEO.
  3. Make a commitment to the program and your community's future through a formal proposal

Selected communities will:

  1. Get stakeholders on board.
  2. Start a conversation with the community.
  3. Work together to identify and work on priority projects.
  4. Celebrate successes!
  5. Share your story and engage in the Competitive Florida network.
  6. Review progress and pick a new action or project.

The following support may be offered to selected communities:

  • Community Asset Mapping
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Improve or develop an Economic Development Strategy
  • Resource Matching to implement actions
  • Economic Development Training
  • Advice on a specific project
  • Feedback on local comprehensive plans
  • Peer-to-peer constructive learning experience
  • Community Branding

We want to help you succeed!

Once a community has gone through the steps above, it's considered a member of the Competitive Florida network. Our goal is to help you succeed in implementing your vision for economic development and we will be available to provide continued support. Success stories and best practices from our network of communities will be featured on our website.

Competitive Florida Communities

Map Showing the Competitive Florida Communities for Fiscal Years 2013-14, 2014-15, and 2015-16

Map Showing Florida's Competitive Communities

The Communities

  1. Fiscal Year 13-14 Communities (Pilots)
    • Town and City Designees
      • City of Port St. Joe
      • Town of White Springs
      • City of Newberry
    • County Designee
      • DeSoto County
  2. Fiscal Year 14-15 Communities
    • Town and City Designees
      • City of Webster
      • City of Starke
      • City of Chiefland
      • City of Palm Bay
      • Town of Century
    • County Designee
      • Gadsden County
  3. Fiscal Year 15-16 Communities
    • Town and City Designees
      • City of Madison
      • City of DeFuniak Springs
    • County Designee
      • Putnam County

Ways to Make Florida's Communities More Competitive

DEO recognizes that not all community needs are the same and each journey will be different. For this reason, the Competitive Florida Partnership encourages the participants to come up with a plan that meets their needs while at the same time allowing for flexibility to account for new opportunities that present themselves along the way.

After completing or enhancing the multi-year strategic plan for economic development, communities are strongly encouraged to prioritize:

  1. Development of an overarching economic development organization and
  2. Updating their local comprehensive plan to serve as a guide for economic development in the future.

DEO advocates for a holistic approach to job creation that goes beyond recruitment of new businesses and industries. For this reason, the components listed below should be considered when determining what to include in your economic development vision and strategy:

  1. Whole community approach to planning and implementation.
  2. Retain current businesses and support expansion.
  3. Attract new businesses and industries.
  4. Build human capital and develop the workforce.
  5. Encourage innovation and entrepreneur-ship.
  6. Preserve sense of place.
  7. Build community leadership.
  8. Encourage commercial district revitalization.
  9. Improve resiliency to disasters.
  10. Provide quality education.
  11. Increase the availability of affordable housing for the workforce.
  12. Provide and promote recreational opportunities.
  13. Ensure the availability of quality healthcare facilities.
  14. Promote sustainable building and economic development practices.
  15. Support neighborhood revitalization.

Additional Information

To receive email notifications about the Competitive Florida Partnership, including the announcement of the next opportunity to participate, please submit the following information:

For more information, please email


  • Liesl Voges

    (850) 717-8525
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