The City of Hollywood, along with many other municipalities and organizations, recognizes May 8 to May 12, 2023, as Economic Development Week. Economic Development Week was created by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) in 2016 to increase awareness of local businesses, and local programs that create jobs, advance career development opportunities, and improve the quality of life in communities everywhere.
Hollywood is a huge driver of economic growth. While it’s a popular tourism destination, many businesses and individuals are deciding to make their journey here a one-way trip.
Meet the City of Hollywood’s Economic Development Manager, Herb Conde-Parlato. We interviewed him about Economic Development basics and the City’s programs that support business growth.
Q: What is Economic Development?
A: Economic development is attracting and growing businesses, creating and retaining jobs, and making our communities a better place to live. It includes a broad range of activities to attract, create, and retain jobs, and foster a resilient, pro-growth tax base and an inclusive economy. The practice of economic development comprises a collaborative effort involving industry, government, and a myriad of community stakeholders.
Q: What is the impact of economic development?
A: Economic development has a lasting impact on communities, which results in higher levels of education, greater employment opportunities, and higher income levels. Communities are strengthened by economic development programs that support the creation of high-paying jobs which creates overall prosperity enjoyed by all citizens.
Q: What are other benefits of economic development?
A: Economic development has a major impact on the places where we live, work, and play. Putting vacant or abandoned buildings and land back into productive use is a major function of economic development. This helps keep businesses located in urban areas where water, sewer, and other services are already present.
Economic development also fosters the entrepreneurial spirit that resides in our creative and ambitious residents. By providing access to ideas, investment, and expert advice new companies can be created to help assure Hollywood’s economy stays innovative and diverse.
Q: What attracts businesses to Hollywood?
A: Hollywood serves over 7,352 active businesses. Hollywood checks off all the boxes when it comes to a healthy economy and business climate for many.
Hollywood offers corporate and industrial space, proximity to important transportation assets, and access to national and international markets. The East Coast Railway (FEC) and CSX Railroad run through Hollywood and Hollywood offers a superior combination of location and easy access, featuring the world-class Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, I-95, and is minutes away from Port Everglades, one of the busiest seaports in the world. Hollywood also boasts a high quality of life with more than 60 parks and a wide variety of parks and recreational amenities.
Q: How does the City of Hollywood support entrepreneurs and small businesses?
A: The City’s Economic Development team has a growing Entrepreneurship Program that fosters an ecosystem for innovation and provides direct assistance to entrepreneurs and small businesses in Hollywood. The FastTrac® Start-Up Program is the City’s premier driver for launching new businesses and is offered free of charge to City residents and business owners. To date, the City has assisted over 1,000 entrepreneurs and small businesses through direct assistance and programming.
Q: What are some of the major companies located in Hollywood and what is the status of the City’s real estate market?