Gulf Power Economic Symposium

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Tourism and the military are still the panhandle's economic drivers.

Gulf power is bringing together some of the best business minds in the region, to hopefully help diversify into other areas.

"Well we have a lot of high-tech, a lot of aviation of course we have the military,” said Jeff Rogers, of Gulf Power. “We have a lot of room for aviation companies to come down here, and for suppliers to come down here. Great quality of life, we have the beaches, beautiful Northwest Florida.”

The symposium is also a way for already existing businesses to find new ways to promote their company.

"Today what I have been diving into with the organizations here at the conference has been all about the ways to push yourself to the next level,” said Jeremy Gutsche, of Trend Hunter. “We want to not just farm the opportunity you already have, but instead be out there hunting and finding new ways."

Earlier this year, Gulf Power initiated a program that identifies vacant buildings suitable for new industry and manufacturing.

"Basically companies can come here looking for sites and find certified sites, and Florida doesn't have any certified sites right now,” said Rogers. “Gulf Power is looking with another company to certify certain sites in Northwest Florida, so when companies come here they already meet all the requirements."

Gulf power has already certified 27 sites here in the panhandle.
The second and final day of the symposium takes place tomorrow.