Daytona Beach Economic Board Hears Optimistic Outlook

Daytona Beach Economic Board Hears Optimistic Outlook

The economic outlook for the World’s Most Famous Beach is looking like chamber of commerce weather as the fourth quarter gets underway.

“There’s a lot of activity continuing at the Chamber,” said Nancy Keefer, president and CEO at the Daytona Regional Chamber, said at the most recent meeting of the Daytona Beach Economic Development Advisory Board. “We had some events postponed from the last hurricane threat, but they have been rescheduled.”

With the snags in the schedule from those delays, Keefer said there’s a lot going on.

“We’re trying to fit all these programs in,” she said.

Keith Norden, president and CEO at Team Volusia Economic Development Corp., also talked about a busy calendar.

“We continue to stay active as far as project activity,” he said. “We have about five projects in negotiations right now.” And that’s not even everything.

“Currently we have about 100 projects in the pipeline at various stages,” he said.

One project Team Volusia is undertaking is updating the organization’s five-year strategy.

Norden said the group is working with consultant Boyette Strategic Advisors to work on the plan.

“We hope to have them present the results at our annual meeting March 7,” he said.

Board Member Larry McDermott asked Norden if high interest rates have slowed business development activity down.

Norden said activity had slowed “a little bit” but said interest rates aren’t the entire story.

“Part of the reason is what’s been out in the media in economic development about the repositioning of Enterprise Florida into a new Department of Commerce,” he said. A bill passed in the last legislative session ending the public/private partnership and moving its functions to a reconstituted state Department of Commerce.

Norden said that may give some potential clients a perception that the economic incentive market in Florida is in flux.

Asked by Board Member Carol Killian if there were any Covid-related funds available for economic development, Norden said Team Volusia is not using Covid money.

Jeff Brown, Daytona Beach Economic and Strategic Opportunities director, also briefed the advisory board on economic development efforts in the city.

“Since we last met, we did complete the lease with Senor Frogs,” Brown said, a restaurant opening in the beachfront area. “They have indicated to us to have a very aggressive construction schedule.”

Brown offered new population figures for the city from the Bureau of Economic and Business Research at the University of Florida. According to the figures, the city’s population increased from 77,000 to almost 81,000 between April 2020 and April 2023.

“About nine people a day are moving to the city of Daytona Beach,” he said.

The board is schedule to meet again at 8:30 a.m. Oct. 18 in the Commission Chambers at Daytona Beach City Hall, 301 S. Ridgewood Ave.