By the BF Staff
From the January/February 2018 Issue
Maverick Boat Group (MBG) will build a new boat manufacturing facility in Fort Pierce, creating 100 jobs. The expansion will also invest $7 million in the local economy.
“I am proud to announce that Maverick Boat Group will be opening a new manufacturing facility which will create 100 new jobs for families in St. Lucie County,” Gov. Rick Scott said, in a statement announcing the project. “By working to reduce burdensome regulations and cut taxes, like permanently eliminating the sales tax on manufacturing machinery and equipment, we are making it easier for businesses like Maverick Boat Group to invest in our state. We will work to cut $180 million in taxes during the upcoming legislative session to ensure Florida remains the top destination for job creators.”
Scott Deal, founder and CEO of MBG, said, “We’ve fully outgrown the capacity of existing facilities and need a lot more room for production. Our plan is to be fully operational by next summer, get in there and start building boats.”
Deal said that, In the final phase of the project, MBG will be adding a total of 277,000 square feet of new production space.
“It’s very important and significant that our region and leaders are facilitating and recognizing the importance of manufacturing jobs like the ones we provide. The jobs are essential, not subject to offshoring, and preserve the legacy of boat building and manufacturing that is an organic part of the community culture,” Deal said.
The new facility will house larger models and free up capacity at Maverick Boat Group’s existing 9.5-acre facility in Ft. Pierce, which will increase production and expand model offerings for each of the company’s four brands. Construction of the new manufacturing facility will begin this summer, and MBG will continue manufacturing its Maverick, Cobia, Pathfinder and Hewes brands sold around the world at its current facility. The new facility will add an additional 38 acres to their headquarters.
“The company is one of the county’s largest private employers and a driving force in our economy. Directly and indirectly, retention of existing jobs already provides $173 million in sales output and payrolls combined on an annual recurring basis. New jobs will bring an additional recurring impact amounting to nearly $42 million each year. We’re very pleased that the company continues to choose St. Lucie as home for their permanent headquarters,” said Pete Tesch, president of the Economic Development Council of St. Lucie County.
PUSH FOR FLORIDA EXPORTS HEADS FOR COSTA RICA
Enterprise Florida, Inc. (EFI) will lead a delegation of small and mid-sized businesses on an export sales mission to San Jose, Costa Rica from February 26-March 1, 2018.
“Costa Rica’s market represents vast opportunity for Florida companies interested in increasing their footprint in the Central American market,” said Stan Connally, Chairman, President and CEO of Gulf Power and Vice Chairman of Enterprise Florida. “Facilitated by the U.S.-Central America Free Trade Agreement, the U.S. has become the chief trading partner for Costa Rica and exporters benefit from reduced tariffs and barriers. Florida is the hub of this vigorous bilateral trade.”
Trade between the U.S. and Costa Rica totaled $10.2 billion in 2016, where Florida was the leading state in two-way trade. Costa Rica ranks as Florida’s 12th largest merchandise trading partner with nearly $3.6 billion in total trade and nearly $2.5 billion in exports alone in 2016.
Florida companies are well-positioned to benefit from these opportunities. The Enterprise Florida export sales mission will provide an excellent vehicle to initiate or expand your trade opportunities in Costa Rica.
Leading sectors for Florida exports to Costa Rica include medical device manufacturers; civilian aircraft, engines, and parts; building and construction equipment; automotive parts/service equipment; renewable energy; food packaging; hotel and restaurant equipment; and beauty products.
The U.S. Commercial Service (USCS) is scheduling one-on-one Gold Key appointments with pre-screened Costa Rican companies that have expressed an interest in the products or services of Florida companies attending.
FLORIDA IS INVESTING IN PORTS
Under the leadership of Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Legislature, the state’s seaports have seen billions invested through state, local and private funding since 2011. This has produced a Return on Investment (ROI) of nearly $7 in state and local tax revenue for every $1 of state investment. And an additional $2.8 billion has been earmarked for capital improvement projects over the next five years to ensure Florida remains a key player in the global marketplace.
The annual Five-Year Seaport Mission Plan is a statutorily required report produced by the Florida Ports Council on behalf of the Florida Seaport and Transportation and Economic Development Council. Some highlights of the 2017-2021 plan include:
- $50.1 billion in value of containerized cargo moved (6.4 percent increase);
- 3.5 million twenty-foot equivalent units handled;
- 15.5 million cruise passengers served;
- $2.8 billion programmed in improvements over the next five years
“Those are market-driven investments, responding to market needs,” says Doug Wheeler, President/CEO of the Florida Ports Council, a Florida nonprofit corporation that serves as the professional association for FL’s 15 public seaports.