In an effort to stimulate the Tampa Bay economy and create jobs, Suncoast Workforce will host a business summit in Lakewood Ranch on August 12th to discuss "economic gardening" and how it can benefit local businesses. Representatives from GrowFL, a Florida government program, will be on hand to offer advice and answer questions.
"Economic gardening is about growing your own business," says Joan McGill, VP of business development at the Sarasota Economic Development Corporation
. "It's about putting time and efforts into a business that is already in the community."
The goal of economic gardening is to grow existing businesses as opposed to focusing on startups. The concept was pioneered by Chris Gibbons in Littleton, CO in 1989. After 15 years, Littleton saw a 135 percent increase in new jobs. GrowFL
, an official economic gardening technical assistance program for Florida, was created in 2009.
At the business summit, representatives from GrowFL's technical team will provide an overview of what their programs offer. Local executives will discuss their own experiences and perspectives on economic gardening during an interactive panel discussion.
"Our goal at Suncoast Workforce is to educate businesses about what resources are available to them," says Sally Hill of Suncoast Workforce. "Our hope with the summit is to offer local business owners more information about economic gardening. Suncoast Workforce representatives will also be available for employers looking to expand their workforce."
The business summit will be August 12th from 7:45 a.m. to 10 a.m. in Lakewood Ranch at the Polo Bar & Grill
, 10670 Boardwalk Loop.
Writer: Kimberly Patterson
Source: Sally Hill, Suncoast Workforce; Joan McGill, Sarasota Economic Development Corporation