Chasing the Vision
by John S. Cox, CCE, CEcD, IOM
President & CEO
The Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce
Arthrex is one of the top 100 fastest growing companies in the United States for the past 10 years and its mission, “helping surgeons treat their patients better,” reflects a global strategy to change the world for the better.
Ranked the No. 1 eye hospital in the nation for the past decade by U.S. News & World Report, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute has a global reputation of being the very best in ophthalmic research, educational training, clinical trials, diagnostics and equipment innovation.
With a deep, rich suite of machine-to-machine (M2M) network services, KORE Telematics offers true global connectivity, with high-quality integration solutions for customers from all industries.
Azimuth Technology, LLC, believes it is their responsibility to bring manufacturing back to America. That is why they pride themselves in their commitment to our country and our people. Headquartered in Naples, FL, Azimuth Technology, LLC specializes in precision contract manufacturing for various industries including defense, aerospace, oil/gas, and more.
The common themes here of course are VISIONary, stateof-the-art, best-in-class, technology based and globally driven companies either headquartered in Naples or with significant corporate collateral in Collier County employing thousands of resident workers and generating economic base which enriches the entire community. These are leading businesses and there are dozens more just like them operating here and starting up here every day. While they lead our economy they also lead our communities by providing dollars, value and volunteers for our common future. They invest in us. And for that reason the community must invest in them and indeed in all of our local businesses.
The Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce is known for the companies it keeps. The truth is our existing industries are some other county’s best prospects. I’ve been the guy who has landed at someone’s regional airport, rented a car, driven to a community and called on industries asking them to consider relocating.
Since that is true, I can assure you the same thing happens in Naples. The single most important function of a local economic development plan is taking care of your existing businesses first.
Companies who leave take economic base with them. Corporate banking deposits leave town. Employees either relocate or drive further from home to work. The talent pipeline constricts and our brightest minds (including our own kids and grandkids) follow jobs somewhere beside here.
Per capita income and average wages go down and there is less disposable income to be reinvested through individual spending.
Instead of balancing tax burdens on businesses and residential property, government taxes increase on families as the only means of keeping up growth. The community is poorer for it.
How do communities help existing businesses stay healthy and grow? Low crime rates. Low tax rates. Flexible and business friendly regulatory environment. High educational attainment. A strong philanthropic presence. A desirable quality of life. An awareness of what our weaknesses are and more importantly a commitment to resolving those weaknesses together. Many voices speaking as one regarding our ability to determine and achieve collaborative goals creating a collective impact. Speaking truth to power. Good government and good business working together to create a positive climate for growth.
Leading Communities chase the vision allowing them to attract and grow other leading businesses. That circle of life spirals up over time creating a sustainable community. That’s what we are after. Leaders chase the vision not the money.
Leaders chase the vision not the problem. Leaders chase the future not the past. Leaders chase the opportunity not the threat. Leaders chase the strength not the weakness. Have you had a vision check-up lately?
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