Gulf Power Company has announced that it will continue to offer its “Re-Occupancy” rebate program in 2013, as well as other programs to help spur economic development in Northwest Florida.
The Re-Occupancy Incentive program gives rebates to businesses that locate in a building that is at least 10,000 square feet and has been vacant for at least one year. The program started last May and awarded more than $16,000 in rebates in 2012.
“It’s a part of our mission to help build strong communities,” said John Hutchinson, Gulf Power’s director of Public Affairs & Economic Development. “Economic development is a high priority for our company and Northwest Florida. Besides the Re-Occupancy program, we are in the process of considering some other incentives to help create jobs.”
The company has added new staff members to its economic development department and is identifying key economic development gaps in the region that Gulf Power can help strengthen.
“For instance, we have zero certified sites in Northwest Florida for business prospects to consider — sites that have all their permits, all the necessary infrastructure and have been certified by a site consultant as ready for development,” Hutchinson said. “The states we compete with have many certified sites. So, we are looking at starting a site certification program for Northwest Florida, working with the local communities and the local economic development organizations.”
In addition, Hutchinson said the region needs better technical skills training, better incentives, better programs to help existing businesses expand and better commerce parks to be competitive.
“We continue to look for ways to promote economic growth through all of these avenues,” Hutchinson said. “This is a long-term process. It doesn’t happen overnight. And economic development takes everyone working together. But, we’re headed in the right direction and the momentum is gaining for Northwest Florida to grow as a region.”
To learn if your building is eligible for the Re-Occupancy Incentive, check with your Gulf Power representative, or call 1-877-655-4001. A Gulf Power commercial representative will work with you to confirm that your building is eligible and calculate your estimated incentive amount.
Gulf Power Company is an investor-owned electric utility with all of its common stock owned by Atlanta-based Southern Company. Gulf Power serves more than 430,000 customers in eight counties throughout Northwest Florida. The company’s mission is to safely provide exceptional customer value by delivering reliable, affordable and environmentally responsible electricity while strengthening our communities. Visit online at GulfPower.com
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