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Site Benefits of Charlotte County

charlotte countyMake a splash in Charlotte County!

Charlotte County lies at the north of southwest Florida. It is a destination hot spot famed for sandy, white beaches, a never ending supply of sunshine, and the best fishing in the state.

Charlotte County is luring more than just Tarpon. Not only is it growing itself, but 3.9 million people are within 90 miles of the county. This human capital is garnering the attention of local businesses and global conglomerates alike.

Quality of Life in Charlotte County

Boosted by its close proximity to the water, Charlotte County has capitalized on all things sun, fun, and water. Starting with the Charlotte Harbor, this protected marine estuary stretches out 270 square miles, with 219 miles of those serving as a natural shore line. Charlotte County also draws thousands every year to experience the World’s Richest Tarpon Tournament at Boca Grande, as well as Gasparilla Island State Park and Cayo Costa State Park.

If you’re more of a land-lover you can visit Florida Tracks & Trails, an outdoor adventure park that features 22 miles of trails for motocross, ATVs, go-karts and golf carts, a four-acre lake and an 80-acre paintball park.

Travel is also becoming easier in Charlotte County. You can now choose from 30 direct flights from Punta Gorda Airport. Following millions of dollars of construction and restoration, Punta Gorda is a small airport that’s doing big things!

Gettin’ Down to Business

Charlotte County is attracting new businesses not only for the exception quality of life, but also for its global access via the designated foreign trade zone at Punta Gorda Industrial Airport Park which featuring  multi-modal connections via Interstate 75, two connecting U.S. highways and nearby freight rail and three airport runways to accommodate aeronautical and air freight needs.

Low cost airfare and ever-expanding routes courtesy of Allegiant and Frontier airlines make it easy for traveling executives, vendors and key staff.

Cleared 4 Takeoff

The Western Michigan University’s Board of Trustees has approved an economic development investment agreement with Charlotte County in Southwest Florida.

The agreement paves the way for improvements at Punta Gorda Airport designed to enhance WMU’s ability to deliver aviation flight training at the facility. Up to $500,000 in improvements will be done by the county to an airport hangar complex WMU is leasing for the program. WMU trustees approved that $1-per-year lease in December.

The new agreement calls for WMU to:


  • Establish and begin the flight training program at Punta Gorda Airport no later than January 2018.
  • Invest no less than $2 million in building improvements and/or equipment and training prior to July 1, 2018, to support delivery of a bachelor’s degree in aviation flight training.
  • Continuously operate the program at Punta Gorda Airport for no less than five years or refund $100,000 to Charlotte County for every year less than that five-year period the program operates.
  • Appropriately staff the program and within five years maintain an average student enrollment of 150 students per academic year with a provision for significant market disruption.  

David Powell, dean of the WMU College of Aviation, presented the recommendation to the trustees and told them some of WMU’s agreement requirements are already nearing reality.

“We will start Sept. 5, 2017,” Powell said of the new aviation degree program at the Punta Gorda Airport, noting that the WMU’s investments in the facility and program also would be completed early.

He said the program goal is to bring in 50 new students per year, and he expected to reach an average annual student enrollment of 150 in three years.

Speaking of staff, Charlotte County has the educational and training resources already at work to produce the quality labor pool required to support the growing industry. Quick response training programs can be launched to help offset the hard and soft costs of expanding a business.

In addition, Charlotte County’s certified, shovel-ready sites coupled with rapid permitting are a reflection on their business-friendly attitude.

Charlotte County’s target industries include:  

  • Distribution
  • Manufacturing
  • Data Centers
  • Back Office Operations
  • Corporate Headquarters
  • Marine and Related Industries
  • Aircraft and Avionics Related Industries
  • Aquaculture and Related Support Industries

Business Tax Incentives

Businesses that are considering a relocation or expansion in Charlotte County have the opportunity to take advantage of some of the strongest, most generous economic incentives in the state. The Charlotte County Economic Development Incentive Program was adopted by the Board of County Commissioners to attract high-wage jobs, increase non-residential tax revenues to limit tax burdens on residential properties, and diversify the local economy.

The core of the Incentive Program is based on job creation and capital investment, two principles that any business can get behind. To be eligible, a business must produce a minimum of ten “Quality Jobs” that meet the program’s requirements.

Charlotte County has several incentives and programs for businesses to leverage, including:

Economic Development Incentive Program

  • This program can be used to provide incentives to qualified applicants for job creation, capital investment or to offset infrastructure improvement costs.

Property Tax Exemptions

  • For up to 10 years, Property Tax Exemptions may be available for up to 100% of ad valorem and tangible personal property tax assessment.

Taxable Non-Recourse Economic Development Bonds

  • Finances a varieties of businesses.

Tax-Exempt Industrial Development Revenue Bonds (IDRBs)

  • Provides tax-exempt debt obligations issued by public corporations to support manufacturing, processing, and utility type economic development projects. The Charlotte County Industrial Development Authority issues these bonds in Charlotte County.

Where Southwest Florida Grows

Become a part of a county that’s making waves in southwest Florida. If you’re a site selector or business owner looking to bring a new business to Charlotte County or explore nearby locations, the Southwest Florida Economic Development Alliance (SWFLEDA) is here to help you take advantage of the many benefits available.

Contact SWFLEDA at or call 844-707-SWFL for more information.