Fort Myers Regional Partnership Supports Growth and Expansion for Algenol, Gannett and Interop - Bringing National Focus to the Region

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The Fort Myers Regional Partnership, Lee County’s Economic Development Office works to attract new and diversified businesses resulting in high-wage, high-skilled jobs; retains and encourages the expansion of existing businesses and improves the overall business environment.

The Fort Myers Regional Partnership, Lee County’s Economic Development Office works to attract new and diversified businesses resulting in high-wage, high-skilled jobs; retains and encourages the expansion of existing businesses and improves the overall business environment.    

“Together, We Mean Business is more than a tagline or a motto, it is a driving force among our community with a united mission for business expansion and relocation commitments that will bring more than 1,200 jobs to Lee County over the next few years for an economic impact of more than $500 million. Our united successes, and those of the future, simply would not have taken place without your support, leadership and commitment to the campaign,” said Jim Moore executive director, Fort Myers Regional Partnership.

Recent expansions to the area include:

Algenol Announces Integrated Bio-Refinery
In November 2010, less than a month after the grand opening of its new 40,000 sq. ft. laboratory in Bonita Springs, Algenol Biofuels announced plans to also build its pilot-scale Integrated Bio-Refinery in Lee County. Facilitated by a $10-million grant from the Board of Commissioners, as well as support from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Algenol’s strategic partners, the 36-acre facility will demonstrate the company’s Direct To Ethanol™ technology, which produces ethanol directly from carbon dioxide using blue-green algae.
"We are quite excited to build and operate our Integrated Bio-Refinery in Lee County, and look forward to demonstrating technology that will enhance the energy security of Florida and the United States. Having our Integrated Bio-Refinery and research laboratories all on one site will facilitate collaboration among our scientists and engineers and those of our partners," said Paul Woods, Algenol’s Founder and CEO.

Gannett Centralizes US Operations
The Fort Myers Regional Partnership approved financial incentives for Gannett Co. to expand operations in Lee County. The publishing giant plans to build a centralized online advertising operations department that will create 35 full-time jobs with salaries well above the county’s average wage, with an economic impact of more than $2.1 million over the next two years.

Gannett, publisher of 82 daily U.S. newspapers, including USA Today, is investing in digital development, content and new advertising solutions. It is centralizing the fulfillment efforts for most of its local media properties to streamline processes, ensure high quality, and adapt quickly to changing market needs. The expanded Lee County business unit will become the operational fulfillment of digital advertising campaigns for Gannett’s local media properties throughout the nation.

Interop Technologies Expands
The Fort Myers Regional Partnership approved financial incentives for Interop Technologies to support its expansion plans, which will create 15 new jobs in Lee County over the next year. As part of the expansion, Interop will receive $75,000 in incentives from the Lee County Job Opportunity program. The expansion will have an estimated $2.1 million economic impact on Lee County over the next year.

Interop Technologies serves companies in the global wireless and telecommunications industries. The company's innovative solutions portfolio supports many advanced services for wireless end users: 4G messaging; short message and multimedia message capability; mobile Internet access; short-code campaign connectivity; over-the-air programming and provisioning; and device management.

About Fort Myers Regional Partnership
Lee County is a thriving business community with a highly regarded airport, significant corporate development and ample real estate opportunities. The area is attracting, retaining and growing high-value businesses with a unique blend of an outstanding business climate and superior quality of life. The county is home to five vibrant cities--Fort Myers, Bonita Springs, Cape Coral, Fort Myers Beach, and Sanibel--and is the heart of Southwest Florida.

The Partnership continues to promote and build the region through ongoing efforts from its proactive team of domestic and international recruiters, research staff and community liaisons, as well as through its partnerships with the Horizon Foundation, the Horizon Council and the Lee County Industrial Development Authority. The county is also actively promoting its incentive programs including the Lee County Job Opportunity Program and the FIRST Initiative program which currently offers $25 Million in business location or expansion incentives.
For more information, visit http://www.25MillionReasons.com.            

Media Contact: Jennifer Berg, Marketing and Communications Director, Fort Myers Regional Partnership, Lee County’s Economic Development Office at (239) 338-3161.

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