An ‘investment in our future:’ City, chamber of commerce plan for economic development partnership

Chamber of Commerce, City of Destin, Economic Development
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Published: Friday, November 2, 2012 at 02:14 PM.

The city of Destin and the Destin Area Chamber of Commerce are partnering up to spur economic development in Destin.

“Economic development has to be localized for Destin and a plan created for Destin,” Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Shane Moody told The Log. “We want Okaloosa County to stay on the map as well, but when small high-tech businesses are looking for a place to locate, we want them to think about Destin.”

The chamber-formed working group would be comprised of representatives from the chamber, the city of Destin, the Economic Development Council of Okaloosa County and business partners throughout the community.

Moody told The Log that job-creating partnerships between cities and chambers is nothing new, but is indicative of a trend that is taking shape all over the country in communities like Charleston, S.C., Savannah, Ga., and Hilton Head, S.C.

According to an article from, the city of Huntsville, Ala., has had success with the city/chamber arrangement that calls for the city to allocate about $250,000 a year to the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce and, in turn, the city and chamber work together on economic development projects.

Kelly Cooper Schrimsher, communications director for the city of Huntsville was quoted in the article as saying “it’s been a win-win for us. And I think it’s beneficial to all parties involved.”

Creating an economic development plan is something Mayor Sam Seevers says is crucial to the long-term vitality of the city. After the BP oil spill in 2010, Seevers told The Log that the city quickly learned that it needed to diversify its economy beyond tourism.

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