SE Volusia Chamber Set for Economic Summit

Members of the New Smyrna Beach Economic Development Task Force started their latest meeting with an invitation from the Southeast Volusia Chamber of Commerce’s 4th annual Economic Regional Summit. The Chamber, representing the cities of New Smyrna Beach, Edgewater and Oak Hill, is holding the event at the Brannon Center in New Smyrna Beach June 19 from 9 a.m. to noon.

Bob Williams, representing the SE Volusia Chamber, briefed task force members on the goals and aims of the organization.

“Our regional economic development strategy is where the three cities and the county in the southeast Volusia region come together and achieved a consensus on a set of common goals,” he said. “Those include ensuring value-added higher-paying jobs for future generations, expanding the commercial property tax base, thereby reducing the burden on local residents, ensuring the wealth and resilience of our local communities and improving the quality of life for all.”

Williams said the Summit will focus on the organization’s alignment with its strategic business partner, Team Volusia EDC, as well as looking at a master plan for targeted regions identified in previous summits. He spoke specifically of the Deering Park Innovation Center, a proposed 1,667-acre Planned Unit Development consisting of up to 2,150 residential units and 6 million sq. ft. of light industrial and mixed-use commercial space to be located along the west side of I-95 south of S.R. 44. He said the project will soon be coming up for approval.

“As someone who has been working in economic development for 20 years, I can tell you this is the most important initiative for New Smyrna Beach at this time to achieve our goals of economic development,” he said.

Williams said the project developer was impressed with the Chamber’s regional economic development plan.

“It was a result of our regional plan that owners of the property decided to move forward,” he said.

Williams also urged members of the Economic Development Task Force to attend the June 19 event.

“There are still some people that have some concerns and I think it would be really important if some of you could come and speak on behalf of the importance of this on the economic development future of our city,” he said. “This initiative has the opportunity to improve the quality of life in New Smyrna for decades to come.”