Brevard County Business and Economy
Brevard County’s economy is one driven most by trade, transportation, and utilities with professional business services and total government a close 2nd and a 3rd in creating revenue. In 2005, Brevard was rated by Inc. Magazine as the best place to do business in Florida and sixth best in the country. Brevard still maintains that standard of doing business every year.
Port Canaveral is the world’s busiest port and hosts seven major cruise lines and contains 7 terminals. This port will handle as many as 4 million tons of cargo per year and boosted Brevard’s economy by a half-billion dollars annually since its construction.
Much of the development of the Space Coast’s economy has come from its namesake for being the home of space exploration. NASA and Kennedy Space Center bring hundreds of millions of dollars into the local economy from government grants and paid visitors to the space museum.
Tourism is the dominate industry in Brevard County bringing in $2.9 billion in tourist dollars annually. It ranks with the best counties in the state in tourism dollars. A county staff called the Brevard County Tourist Development Council makes suggestions to the county council on what certain tax dollars should be spent on including a tourist tax. This tax is appropriated for the use of improving county municipalities like the beaches, tourist information centers, the Brevard Zoo, or Space Coast Stadium.
The Palm Bay-Melbourne area ranked eighth in May of 2009 for tech centers in the U.S. by Bizjournal and in 2006 Forbes Magazine put local employer Harris Corporation, which is headquartered in Brevard, on its Platinum 400 list. A specialized group called the Technological Research and Development Authority, based in Brevard, creates technologies that schools and small businesses use all through the state of Florida. They acquire this information through strategic partnerships with the federal government, NASA, and the aerospace industry and state partners.
Brevard is also home to the state’s largest credit union, Space Coast Credit Union, which has assets totaling more than $1.4 billion. Even in a down economy, Brevard is one of the top in job and business growth in the state and even ranked near the top of the nation in 2005. Because if it’s major tech industry, the county has taken less sever hits in financial growth than other areas that rely on industries that are greatly affected by an economic downturn.
Despite recent national economic troubles, the county of Brevard remains a strong component of fiscal growth and will remain so because of its strong ties to companies involved in technological advances and it’s governmentally contracted private companies that develop laser optics and future weapons for the U.S. military. The Space Coast has, and always will have, a strong economic foundation between having these aforementioned tech companies, a great share of the citrus market, sound tourism dollars that keep a steady flow in the area. Also, having natural resources at its disposal like the hundreds of millions of collars generated by the industries of the ocean and local rivers, such as fishing and recreational water activities like the cruise liners at Port Canaveral, keep a healthy economy going strong.
Brevard County Overview
Brevard is also an area that enjoys growing business in part to a lower sales tax than most areas in the country. Operating with just a 6% sales tax, it’s great for local businesses because it stimulates higher volume purchasing, but also encourages businesses to want to do business with Brevard County retailers. The low sale tax also brings businesses to the Space Coast to operate and stimulate the local economy.
A majority of the county’s jobs are held with government entities, for example, the School Board of Brevard County is one of the county’s greatest employers, but other private corporations dominate the top ten. Health care is also a major factor in labor as two of Brevard’s top ten are medically associated businesses.