Keeping it Local, Keeping it Personal
There are over 500 companies in Brevard County that manufacture something. Those “somethings” range from the decal that is affixed to the exterior of the International Space Station orbiting the Earth, to coffee-infused body products, such as body scrubs and facial masques, made with recycled coffee grounds from local coffee shops, to an innovative smaller-sized ventilator designed specifically for pediatric life support during patient transport.
These aren’t the makings of the next episode of Shark Tank. Instead, these locally-made products are making national headlines in their respective industries and putting our community on the map as a hotbed for entrepreneurialism.
But even more important than the external attention these and the hundreds of other innovations imagined here are receiving, is the support being generated on a local level by a program aimed at capturing one critical audience – those that live, work or own businesses in Brevard County.
“Made in Brevard” promotes and celebrates companies and service providers that create products locally. It not only celebrates Brevard County’s wide array of manufacturers, but it also enhances each individual company’s promotional efforts to encourage more business-to-business and business-to-consumer opportunities.
This EDC initiative, which is supported by all four of the county’s Chambers of Commerce, fosters a connection to “home” and a sense of pride and understanding in the area’s strengths, including our unified business community.
Locality Spurs Jobs
How important is a locally sourced and supported business program? Consider these estimates. According to a 2012 survey from Boston Consulting Group, more than 80 percent of Americans are willing to pay more for products Made in America. Ninety-three percent say it’s because they want to keep jobs here. Furthermore, it is estimated that each American spends $700 a year on gifts. If only half this amount was spent on “Made in America” gifts, nearly ONE MILLION jobs would be created.
While many communities over the years have produced modified versions of a “buy local” campaign, the uniqueness of this program lies in its double-sided exposure. The nearly 150 participating Made in Brevard companies are afforded access to an entirely new potential client base. For Brevard consumers, Made in Brevard opens a new door to making purchases count to the greater good of the local economy. In both cases, increased economic activity occurs, leading to new jobs for local citizens.
Join the Network
One visit to the Made in Brevard online directory shows comprehensive activity in nearly every sector. Through a series of promotional campaigns in local and regional print, online and outdoor media, these innovations are being highlighted throughout the Space Coast and humanizing the work happening behind the scenes in our business community.
And the list continues to grow less than a year after the program was first introduced. But there are still many unique gems that exist that haven’t been uncovered. If your company manufacturers a product in Brevard County, we invite you to join this effort and help grow the network of Made in Brevard companies and products. It’s one more way we can all help to intrinsically strengthen the local economy.
BrimSkins. AMS-02. pNeuton mini. While these Made in Brevard products might not be household names, yet, they are well on their way because each is manufactured in a community known for its history of breaking the mold and its legacy of ingenuity. So say it proudly, “Yes, that is Made in Brevard.”
Join the effort to support local products by visiting MadeInBrevardFL.com.
Lynda Weatherman is president and CEO of the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast.