A New Year, New Goals, and New Opportunities

Susan Rabinowitz

Business Development Board of Martin County, Board Chair

Happy 2024! A new year, new goals, and new opportunities to help others achieve theirs.

As the Treasure Coast Market President and Business Banking Market Executive for the Palm Beach and Treasure Coast markets, I lead a team that specializes in engaging with the community, listening closely to local business leaders, and empowering overall economic success.

The Business Development Board (BDB) of Martin County serves an essential role in this effort and I’m inspired to serve as the volunteer chair of the board of this esteemed organization. We have some great things in store in our ongoing commitment to strengthening Martin County’s economy.

Of course, the best way to reach your goals is to remember your roots and remain focused on your mission. Founded in 1991, the BDB acts as a key connection between the public and private sectors. Thanks to funding primarily from Martin County, as well as the City of Stuart, Village of Indiantown, and a variety of other local businesses, the BDB is tasked with:

  • Assisting the retention and expansion efforts of existing businesses (particularly those that attract out-of-area dollars into our local economy);
  • Helping the county create and refine incentive programs to attract targeted industries and businesses;
  • Acting as the primary liaison for the county’s economic development with the state;
  • Providing administrative services to the Martin County Industrial Development Authority;
  • Promoting Martin County as a great place to do business.

Economic development is a team sport. That’s reflected in our array of existing nonprofit and community partners, our various councils, and the makeup of our board. Our directors include representatives from the Economic Council, the five chambers of commerce, Marine Industries of the Treasure Coast, Martin County REALTORS of the Treasure Coast, and more.

We recently drew upon the talent and experience of our board members and key partners to further pinpoint our future areas of emphasis. Marketing the ideal business climate of Martin County—including its prime location between Miami and Orlando, ease of access by air, water and rail, permit-ready sites, top-rated schools and high quality of life—remains a preeminent priority.

We’re also focusing on developing and advancing the local workforce as well as identifying and pursuing key action items from our Pulse visits.

Over recent years we’ve conducted nearly 150 Pulse visits with local businesses, learning more about their challenges and concerns and availing our services and expertise. Armed with data and insights collected from recent years, we’ll conduct this year’s Pulse visits with an eye toward identifying reoccurring themes and persistent needs. This will enable us to sharpen our advocacy efforts and inform county decisions about investments in infrastructure, connectivity and more.

Business owners know all-too-well that every day is filled with both expected and unforeseen obstacles and opportunities—and sometimes the former can obscure the latter. But thanks to every insight provided by local business leaders, the BDB heightens its vantage point, helping all of us see a little clearer, prepare a little better—and move us ever closer toward a more resilient and prosperous economy.

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