Asked how best to revitalize Sarasota County’s economy, the area’s top economic-development officials responded with two predominate themes — getting government out of the way and fostering teamwork among communities.
“A lot of people have the misconception that it’s the government’s job to create jobs,” said Allan Lane, economic-development manager for North Port. “That is not the case.”
Lane was part of a panel at the Aug. 4 Sarasota Tiger Bay luncheon during which the local economy was the primary topic.
The other panelists were Mark Huey, CEO of the Economic Development Corp.; Randy Welker, economic-development coordinator for the city of Sarasota; and Allen Carlson, CEO of Sun Hydraulics.
The panelists agreed that government’s role should be to provide an environment in which business can thrive.
“Let free enterprise and capitalism work,” said Carlson.
Government needs to make the business climate attractive to a company looking to move, Lane said. “Give (the business) something it needs,” he added.
All municipalities and areas in Sarasota County need to work together to ensure the economy rebounds, Huey remarked. “There is not one organization that makes economic development succeed for a community,” he said. “It’s a team sport.”
Lane concurred. “Regionalism is important,” he said. “If Sarasota has an amenity (attracting a new business) that we don’t have, that’s fine, because North Port residents will have a chance to get those new jobs.”