The Economic Development Program of the Council consists of economic development planning and tourism promotion activities.
The U.S. Economic Development Administration designated the region as an Economic Development District in 1978. The primary function of the North Central Florida Economic Development District is to create and update the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy for the region. The Strategy provides the framework by which economic development projects in the region qualify for grant funding from the U.S. Economic Development Administration. The Strategy is developed by the Strategy Committee which is comprised of a broad range of regional economic development, business, civic, education and workforce development professionals.
In addition, the Council maintains a high level of involvement in providing technical assistance to local governments and economic development organizations in order to promote economic growth. The Council provides economic impact modeling services and grant procurement and administration services for federal and state economic development infrastructure funding to these entities.
The Council also works with the Rural Economic Development Initiative, Enterprise Florida, Inc. and VISIT FLORIDA in defining strategies for dealing with the problems and needs of north central Florida.
The Original Florida Tourism Task Force is comprised of representatives from each of the participating counties to oversee and direct the tourism promotion effort. The members have varied backgrounds which they bring to the program, but they share one thing in common--the desire to carve out their share of the number of tourists who visit Florida each year, and to do so without harming the natural resources which are the mainstay of the attractions of the area.
As part of promoting the Natural North Florida area, travel writers visit the area who, in turn, write and publish in various news media (travel magazines, travel sections in major newspapers and websites throughout the country).
The Task Force also prints map brochures. The brochures are distributed at each of the five Florida Welcome centers, each of the ten county chambers of commerce, area hotels and lodging establishments, and several real estate agencies.
The Task Force also maintains the Natural North Florida Internet homepage of The Original Florida.
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