The 2018-2022 Apalachee Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) is in the process of input and composition. Check back to this page to find goals, objectives, and our progress dashboard as they evolve. Click on the image above for the latest draft of the 2018 CEDS!

The 2017 Public Comment Period is officially open. If you would like to send a comment regarding the Strategy, please email it to .


The Florida Chamber’s Six Pillars and the Northwest Florida Forward plans provide comprehensive, insightful focus areas. These include reinforcing talent, improving infrastructure, and crafting high-quality places. Apalachee CEDS will concentrate – complementing these focus areas – on the following goals:



In development! The 2016-17 CEDS crafted 59 objectives. The 2018 edition currently hosts 35.

The 2018 objectives will also incorporate learning from Hanley and Douglass’ review of Economic Development approaches in the United States: High Road, Low Road, or Off Road?

Resilience – economic and otherwise – will figure into strategies via best practice take-aways and Committee input.

The Objectives table will be updated as aims and phrases are tweaked:

Objective Priority Time Frame
1.1 Create an inter-county Apalachee business resilience task force that sources best practices for industry resilience  Near Term
1.2 Work to increase employee and business resilience to Hurricanes, Flooding, Severe Storms and Wildfires through Local Mitigation Strategy updates and program assistance to support individual and group planning, weatherization, preparedness, continuity of operation, and mitigation.   Mid Term
1.3 Explore the twenty-four disaster mitigation funding options presented in the State Enhanced Hazard Mitigation Plan (SEHMP) for new applications in Apalachee Counties. Mid Term 
1.4 Develop unified and responsive county and regional applications for Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc. and Job Growth Grant Fund on a yearly basis. Near Term 
1.5 Promote Apalachee outdoor recreation through new, lightweight social media campaigns and physical signage efforts. Mid Term 
1.6 Use the DEP “trail town” concept to reinforce Apalachee tourism economies, including new and enhanced connections between feeder trails and the Capital City to Sea Trail and the proposed Chattahoochee to Bristol Trail and Florida National Scenic Trail linkage.  Near Term
1.7 Launch a County Planning Summit similar to the Sustainable You conference wherein planning best practices are showcased for Apalachee Region. Near Term 
1.8 Support expanded small business and entrepreneur support through partnerships between Small Business Development Center Gretna and Tallahassee, Incubators and underserved communities. Near to Mid Term 
1.9 Explore and if feasible, launch an inter-county Economic Development Special District with financing to undertake infrastructure and amenity projects. Longer Term 
1.10 Explore and if feasible, launch a new inter-county amenity financing mechanism, such as a Round Robbin program wherein contributors receive lump sum distributions in turns.  Near Term

1.11 Connect arts groups to placemaking outfits (e.g. MainStreet, CRA, Waterfronts) throughout the Region.

Near Term 

1.12 Promote Arts Group-School Board interactions to advance STEAM careers as a cutting-edge workforce development tool.

 Mid Term

1.13 Promote the benefits of satellite business offices in rural Apalachee.

2.1 Explore industry-decline preparedness plans that assess infrastructure, real estate, talent, and amenities for local-government assisted market pivots following macroeconomic shifts. Longer Term 
2.2 Work to create a strong pipeline between High Magnetic Field Laboratory research/experiments and local business installation. Mid Term Priority 
2.3 Assist efforts to diversify rural economies by advancing site readiness and promoting real estate re-use opportunities toward uses in professional/technical offices, warehousing, light/clean tech manufacturing, cloud data storage and agricultural technology.  Immediate
2.4 Develop I-10 interchange plans for all existing exits that identify available parcels, land use and zoning, and push the limits of interchange planning and development by creating new amenities. Near Term 
2.5 Emphasize environmental entrepreneurship by supporting commercialization and promoting new technologies in North Florida aquaculture and agriculture. Near Term 
2.6 Emphasize green entrepreneurship by supporting proof of concept, commercialization, and growth in North Florida renewable energy.  Mid Term
2.7 Through the Dedman School of Hospitality, develop a program to promote improved accommodation, food service and retail employee benefits throughout the Region. Longer Term 
2.8 Through the Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship, promote the development of the entrepreneur ecosystem throughout the Apalachee Region. Near Term 
2.9 Create a 1-stop online and physical resource connecting entrepreneurs to grants, competitions, equity matching, angel investing, incentives, and other funding.  Immediate
2.10 Improve connectivity within the Regional food system to increase opportunities for direct-to-consumer relationships and value-added industries. Longer Term 
2.11 Support expanded workforce training efforts through partnerships between Chipola College, CareerSource Florida Network, Lively Technical Institute, Tallahassee Community College and underserved counties. Mid Term 
2.12 Explore new frontiers in low-impact, high-return forest uses including boutique recreation tourism and innovative silviculture managmenet activities. Immediate 
2.13 Progress in the development of the Port at Port St. Joe and associated Freight and Logistics Zone and I-10 Logistics and Manufacturing Corridor infrastructure including new Apalachicola Northern Railroad spurs, Intermodal Logistics Sites, and road enhancements along US 98, SR 20, SR 12, and at the I-10 interchange.  Near Term
2.14 Promote economic growth at regional Strategic Sites (SSI) including Jackson County Gulf Power Certified Sites at Marianna Airport Commerce Park and Marianna/Jackson County Distribution and Construction Services Park, as well as the Florida-Alabama Mega Site near Campbellton. Longer Term 
2.15 Enhance aviation supporting freight and tourism clusters by taking steps to increase traffic at Apalachee airports including Tallahassee, Carrabelle, Apalachicola, Marianna, Calhoun County and Wakulla County.  Longer Term
3.1 Meet the needs of a growing 55 and older community by planning for aging in place, older-adult facing business development, and more resilient assisted living and senior center facilities. Near Term 
3.2 Create a mechanism for fostering bootstrap entrepreneurship in the nine-county area, such as via a “mobile incubator”. Immediate 
3.3 Promote benefits of investing in startups to local governments and encourage new investment in local entrepreneurship resources.  Near Term
3.4 Enhance understanding of the urban/rural divide in terms of land use planning needs and requirements, grant writing assistance, and Enterprise Florida assistance. Near Term 
3.5 Facilitate Art Group-Private Partnerships (APPs) between art galleries and private businesses including materials, space, logistics, branding and other shared initiatives.  Mid to Long Term
3.6 Promote a wide variety of entrepreneurship through new and creative finance mechanisms. Immediate to Near Term 
3.7 Increase income generating and talent acquisition opportunities for high school youth through externships and career counselor-business liaisons.  Mid Term 


Assets  are strengths. The map below presents public entities, infrastructure, available land, large employers, and other strengths that the Apalachee CEDS will build upon:


Progress Dashboard

Objective/Tactic Progress Impact
Expand Apalachee Revolving Loan Fund and Launch new series of funding initiatives to area entrepreneurs. Research and Development  
Collaborate with Arts Groups to enhance connectivity and new STEAM projects. Project Development  
Assist MainStreet organizations to meet Ec Dev goals. Project Implementation Website Created; Outreach and Project development.