EDC News

Abundant Guests Await New Hospitality Enterprises in Greater Lake Wales

Wednesday, August 1st, 2018

Driven in great part by the hugely successful Legoland Florida Resort and thriving economy overall, the hospitality industry is doing very well in greater Lake Wales — providing evidence of opportunity for the launch of more lodging and restaurant businesses here.

In The Grand Venue of RECon 2018, Fresh Seeds For New Lake Wales Development Were Planted

Thursday, June 28th, 2018

Here in the offices of the Lake Wales Area Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Council, a lot a great things happen for the benefit of area visitors and potential visitors, and for the good of the local business community and general economy. Supported by the city, local businesses, our generous investor-partners, and many individuals, the fine Chamber-EDC staff stays busy answering phones, fielding inquiries, responding to requests for information and brochures, conducting marketing research, and so much more.

The Sky’s The Limit For Potential Of A Redeveloped LW Airport

Tuesday, June 12th, 2018

A city actively pursuing economic development, as Lake Wales is doing through the Lake Wales Area Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Council, is greatly helped in that pursuit when its assets include a municipal airport. The value of that asset for economic development is multiplied many times over when the airport is modern, attractive, up to date technologically, and, especially important, able to accommodate heavier aircraft and larger corporate jets on its runways and in its hangars.

Innovation Is Key In These Quickly Changing Retail Times

Thursday, April 26th, 2018

“The changing face of U.S. retail …”

You’ve probably seen, in print or online, news headlines like the one above. They go back a couple of years — perhaps further back than that in some regions of the country. This isn’t misleading, It’s real. U.S. retail is changing. Anyone who can be counted among American consumers has seen it, has experienced it, and — knowingly or unknowingly — very likely has contributed to it.

Good Things Here And Nearby Combine For A Top-10 Lake Wales Sales Tool

Wednesday, March 21st, 2018

Greater Lake Wales is unique for business, it’s good for business, it’s welcoming for business, and it’s very much open for business. Given that positive environment for potential new companies and commerce, it’s considerably easy to put together a top-10 list of reasons why all of this is true.

Commercial Property Redevelopment And Re-Use Has Tremendous Upsides

Tuesday, February 27th, 2018

Economic development — the concerted and coordinated effort to bring more businesses, industry, jobs, commerce and even vitality to a community or region — can happen in many ways.

When the phrase “economic development” comes up in casual conversation, often the first thought folks have is that of a large out-of-the area company announcing plans to build a huge new facility of one sort or another on the outer edge of a city and put hundreds of people to work. That does happen, of course, and there are hundreds of great examples of it all over Polk County, for which we all can be grateful.

Purchase of Former International Paper Plant Provides Great Start to 2018

Thursday, January 25th, 2018

In the economic arena, the arena that moves and motivates us here at the Lake Wales Area Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Council, the new year is off to a fantastic start! Nationally, regionally, and locally, the news now is very positive, and most signs have us expecting more great things ahead.

Wintertime Expected To Bring A Flurry Of Building Activity Along U.S. 27 North

Friday, December 15th, 2017

Like Santa’s elves, scurrying around busily to meet that critical Christmas Eve deadline — to the delight of good little boys and girls — scores of people in the construction trade are very busy in and for the area around Eagle Ridge Mall, north of Lake Wales. I’m thinking about planners, architects, surveyors, contractors, construction workers, heavy-equipment operators, and utility personnel.


Tuesday, November 21st, 2017

With the Thanksgiving holiday upon us, and with the spirit of thanksgiving a cornerstone of the holiday season, it’s a grand opportunity for my staff and I to publicly mention and thank many people and organizations that richly contribute time, talent, resources, and “heart” for the betterment of greater Lake Wales and, in many ways, to the work of the Lake Wales Area Chamber & Economic Development Council.

Behind the Scenes at the EDC, the Parts are Moving on Many Layers

Monday, October 30th, 2017

Behind the scenes. In the realm of economic development, that’s where much of the action takes place.

Before the first spade of dirt is turned for a new restaurant or retail plaza, before the adult-size Erector Set first appears with engines roaring to set steel beams for a new warehouse or manufacturing plant, you bet that a lot of work to get the project to that point has already quietly taken place in the background.


Monday, October 2nd, 2017

It’s said that the tempest called Irma could’ve been worse. True. The hurricane that roared northward through Polk County late in the night on Sept. 10 and very early in the morning on Sept. 11 could’ve been a Category 3, 4, or 5 monster instead of only the Category 2 storm that had weakened after several hours over land.

Economic Development Greatly Enhanced by Great Preparation

Thursday, August 31st, 2017

If you’ve heard it said once, you’ve heard it said a dozen times or more: The secret to success — or the key to success — in (“XYZ”) is in the planning and preparation.

You can replace the “XYZ” in this morsel of wisdom with all kinds of endeavors. It’s true when exam time comes in elementary school. It’s true in painting a house (if a quality and long-lasting job is the desired result). It’s true in winning sports championships. And it certainly is true in the closely knit arenas of business recruitment and economic development.

Chamber Pleased to Have a Role in Development of Local Leaders

Tuesday, August 1st, 2017

Though it might cost me some gentle ribbing down the road for being “biased,” I just have to say, with all sincerity and honest evaluation, that one of the best concentrated programs for professional and personal education and enrichment locally is one sponsored right here, within the offices of the Lake Wales Area Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Council.

Nothing But Polished Diamonds Among Gala Award Winners

Monday, June 12th, 2017

It’s a wonderful thing when a community can come together to shine the light on the people and organizations that help to make it tick — that help to make it thrive and prosper, to make it go and grow

A whole lot of “wonderful” happened in mid-May when the Lake Wales Area Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Council held its Second Annual Awards Gala to recognize and honor champion citizens, public servants, business leaders, businesses, and service organizations.


Tuesday, April 4th, 2017

One of the great things about economic development work is the opportunity to meet and interact with so many professionals, learn about them and from them, and get familiar with the organizations they lead or serve. Most of these professionals come from the business community, of course, but they also hail from government, education, law and law enforcement, health care, the arts, and other community sectors. Good economic development requires the whole of community involvement and not just a focus on or from business.

What's in the Cards for 2017 for Local Economic Development?

Monday, January 30th, 2017

As I noted last time in this space, 2016 was a very positive year for economic development activity in and around Lake Wales, and each of us associated with the Lake Wales Area Chamber of Commerce & Economic Development Council began work the first week of January with the strong belief that 2017 would be even better. These past four or so weeks, excellent conversations, promising business recruitment efforts, behind-the-scenes work on a variety of fronts related to the local economy, and general optimism about the overall U.S., Florida, and Polk County economies have only reinforced that belief.


Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

If someone were to stop me on the street during this week leading up to Christmas and ask me if 2016 was a good year for economic development in greater Lake Wales, I would honestly, happily, and excitedly say “Yes!” It has been a good year for economic development locally — good and even great in many respects.


Thursday, December 1st, 2016

A lot of good things are happening at the major commercial development formerly known as Longleaf Business Park, and all of it bodes well for the Lake Wales-area economy and further economic development here.

Actually, significantly good things have been happening at the park for the past two or three years, but a flurry of activity recently has put the development in the forefront of local business news.


Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

Activity is picking up along U.S. Highway 27, and I’m not referring to the ever-increasing volume of traffic on that major north-south thoroughfare through Lake Wales. (The traffic matter — the need for some form of major roadway relief for U.S. 27 — was the subject of a previous column and likely will come up again.)

Excellent Quality Of Life A Big Plus For Economic Development

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

If you spend any time at all thinking about greater Lake Wales, you almost have to conclude that there’s really no other place quite like it. The natural resources and scenic beauty — from the rolling hills of the Florida Ridge to the bass-filled lakes to the flatland “scrub” ecosystems — the subtropical climate, the rich historical heritage, the cultural and entertainment choices, the tourism and sight-seeing options, the top-tier education system, and the growing economic diversity combine to make the area quite unique — and quite special.