The city has been designated as Open for Business by a regional organization that evaluates how friendly cities are to new businesses.
BY MIKE CAVALIERE | ASSOCIATE EDITOR
Ormond Beach was recognized by the state’s Central Florida Partnership, in December, as being Open for Business, Economic Development Director Joe Mannarino announced at an Economic Prosperity meeting Wednesday, Jan. 9.
One of 24 Central Florida cities to receive this designation at last month’s community celebration event, Ormond Beach was recognized for its “streamlined permitting process,” Mannarino says, which falls in line with the initiative’s goal of regional conformity throughout 86 cities in seven counties.
“There are some communities that aren’t quite there yet,” he added.
The elements of the certification include customer service, pre-application review, minimizing cost, time and approval steps, appointing a public representative, process improvements, post-project approval, consistency and execution.
For companies considering relocating to somewhere in the region, a certification stating your city does those things effectively, Mannarino says, gives Ormond Beach a big leg up.
“When you look at a chain restaurant or entrepreneurs,” he said, “they know that they can go to these certified communities and have a relatively good understanding of the permitting process.”
These processes ensure that a company has the best shot at securing permitting and writing a successful business plan the first time around — processes like the pre-application review.
Pre-application reviews are held every Wednesday at City Hall, with representatives from all residential, commercial and industrial departments present for advising. Before submitting any paperwork, companies considering opening in Ormond can meet with these officials to discuss their business and site plans, to work out any kinks and double-check that they’re in line with city, county and state code.
“It is much simpler for you to understand what the requirements are (this way),” Mannarino said. “It’s very conceptual. ... It kind of gives you the road map to go to the next step and finalize your processes as quick as possible. .... Everyone is in one place.”
The city also actively seeks feedback from its clients. And its permitting office has the engineering, planning and building departments all consolidated, as well, “so there’s better communication.”
Organizations involved the Central Florida Partnership include the Associate Builders and Contractors Inc., the Home Builders Association, Workforce Central Florida, the Orlando Regional Realtor Association and the Metro-Orlando Economic Development Commission.
Deland, Deltona, New Smyrna Beach and Ormond Beach were the only cities in Volusia County, as of Dec. 14, to be awarded this designation.
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