In addition to research, the Regional Economic Research Institute provides various resources for residents, businesses and community leaders. Follow the links below to learn more about some of the resources offered by the RERI.
Below is the 2021 list of the top 100 employers in Southwest Florida. The list also includes information on which industry and counties each company operates in. For more information on how the list was constructed, please see the methodology.
(Use the search bar below to filter the list by industry or county!)
|1||Lee Health||14,028a||Healthcare and Social Assistance||Lee|
|2||Lee County School District||11,003b||Educational Services||Lee|
|3||Publix Super Market||9,768||Retail Trade||Charlotte, Collier, Lee|
|4||Lee County Local Government||9,142b||Public Administration||Lee|
|5||NCH Healthcare System||8,159||Healthcare and Social Assistance||Collier|
|6||Walmart||7,286||Retail Trade||Charlotte, Collier, Hendry, Lee|
|7||Collier County School District||5,756b||Educational Services||Collier|
|8||Collier County Local Government||5,173b||Public Administration||Collier|
|10||Marriott International, Inc.||3,620||Accommodation and Food Services||Collier, Lee|
|11||Bayfront Health||2,801||Healthcare and Social Assistance||Charlotte|
|12||Charlotte County Local Government||2,614b||Public Administration||Charlotte|
|13||McDonald's||2,613||Accommodation and Food Services||Charlotte, Collier, Hendry, Lee|
|14||Home Depot||2,497||Retail Trade||Charlotte, Collier, Lee|
|15||Charlotte County School District||2,152b||Educational Services||Charlotte|
|16||Winn-Dixie||1,899||Retail Trade||Charlotte, Collier, Hendry, Lee|
|17||Hope Hospice||1,838||Healthcare and Social Assistance||Collier, Lee|
|18||Chico's Fas Inc.||1,552||Retail Trade||Collier, Lee|
|19||Florida Gulf Coast University||1,519c||Educational Services||Lee|
|20||Bloomin' Brands, Inc.||1,395||Accommodation and Food Services||Charlotte, Collier, Lee|
|21||Realogy Holdings Corp.||1,381||Real Estate and Rental and Leasing||Charlotte, Collier, Lee|
|22||Darden Restaurants||1,380||Accommodation and Food Services||Charlotte, Collier, Lee|
|23||Target||1,300||Retail Trade||Charlotte, Collier, Lee|
|24||Walgreens||1,170||Retail Trade||Charlotte, Collier, Hendry, Lee|
|25||Yum! Brands, Inc.||1,141||Accommodation and Food Services||Charlotte, Collier, Hendry, Lee|
|26||Lowe's Home Improvement||1,135||Retail Trade||Charlotte, Collier, Lee|
|27||Inspire Brands||1,133||Accommodation and Food Services||Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Lee|
|28||USPS||1,132||Transportation and Warehousing||Charlotte, Collier, Lee|
|29||Seminole Tribe of Florida||1,128||Public Administration||Collier, Glades, Hendry|
|30||Hertz Inc.||1,073a||Management of Companies and Enterprises||Lee|
|31||John R. Wood Properties||1,051||Real Estate and Rental and Leasing||Collier|
|33||Shell Point Retirement Community||1,000||Healthcare and Social Assistance||Lee|
|34||Keller Williams Realty||989||Real Estate and Rental and Leasing||Charlotte, Collier, Lee|
|35||Brookdale||985||Healthcare and Social Assistance||Charlotte, Lee|
|36||Moorings Park||924||Healthcare and Social Assistance||Collier|
|37||Hendry County School District||892b||Educational Services||Hendry|
|38||Berkshire Hathaway Inc.||841||Finance and Insurance||Charlotte, Collier, Lee|
|39||YMCA||820||Other Services (except Public Administration)||Charlotte, Collier, Lee|
|40||Pacific Tomato Growers||800||Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting||Collier|
|41||Bealls||773||Retail Trade||Charlotte, Collier, Lee|
|42||Dillard's||764||Retail Trade||Charlotte, Collier, Lee|
|43||Gettel Automotive||760||Retail Trade||Charlotte|
|44||Burger King||753||Accommodation and Food Services||Charlotte, Collier, Hendry, Lee|
|45||US Sugar||750||Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting||Hendry|
|46||Hilton Brand||750||Accommodation and Food Services||Collier, Hendry, Lee|
|47||Naples Grande Beach Resort||750||Accommodation and Food Services||Collier|
|48||Hendry County Local Government||710b||Public Administration||Hendry|
|49||Herc Rentals||700||Management of Companies and Enterprises||Lee|
|50||GenesisCare||699||Healthcare and Social Assistance||Collier, Lee|
|52||CVS||670d||Retail Trade||Charlotte, Collier, Hendry, Lee|
|53||TJX Companies, Inc.||659||Retail Trade||Charlotte, Collier, Lee|
|54||RE/MAX Realty||650||Real Estate and Rental and Leasing||Charlotte, Collier, Lee|
|55||Culver's||635||Accommodation and Food Services||Charlotte, Collier, Lee|
|56||Florida Cancer Specialists||620||Healthcare and Social Assistance||Charlotte, Collier, Lee|
|57||Perkins||612||Accommodation and Food Services||Collier, Lee|
|58||Costco Wholesale||600||Retail Trade||Collier, Lee|
|59||Downing Frye Realty||600||Real Estate and Rental and Leasing||Collier|
|60||Wendy's||597||Accommodation and Food Services||Charlotte, Collier, Hendry, Lee|
|61||Bonita Bay Club||596||Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation||Lee|
|62||Apollo Global Management||595||Finance and Insurance||Charlotte, Collier, Lee|
|63||Vi at Bentley Village||585||Healthcare and Social Assistance||Collier|
|64||Florida SouthWestern State College||559c||Educational Services||Lee|
|65||Raymond Building Supply||554||Retail Trade||Collier|
|66||IHG Hotels & Resorts||547||Accommodation and Food Services||Charlotte, Collier, Lee|
|67||Dine Brands||526||Accommodation and Food Services||Charlotte, Collier, Lee|
|68||Germain Cars||514||Retail Trade||Collier|
|69||Cracker Barrel Old Country Store||505||Accommodation and Food Services||Charlotte, Collier, Lee|
|70||Gulf Bay Group of Companies||500||Real Estate and Rental and Leasing||Collier|
|71||South Seas Sanibel & Captiva||500||Accommodation and Food Services||Lee|
|72||Chili's Grill & Bar||494||Accommodation and Food Services||Charlotte, Collier, Lee|
|73||Farm-Op Inc.||480||Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting||Glades, Lee|
|74||Best Buy||470||Retail Trade||Charlotte, Collier, Lee|
|75||JC Penney||458||Retail Trade||Charlotte, Collier, Lee|
|76||Quick Lane||450||Other Services (except Public Administration)||Charlotte, Lee|
|78||Hyatt||440||Accommodation and Food Services||Lee|
|79||Texas Roadhouse||439||Accommodation and Food Services||Collier, Lee|
|80||UPS Store||435||Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services||Charlotte, Collier, Lee|
|81||Life Care Centers of America||405||Healthcare and Social Assistance||Charlotte, Lee|
|82||Truist||405||Finance and Insurance||Charlotte, Collier, Lee|
|83||Pandera Bread||405||Accommodation and Food Services||Charlotte, Collier, Lee|
|84||Golden Gate Capital||401||Finance and Insurance||Charlotte, Collier, Lee|
|85||Naples Luxury Imports||401||Retail Trade||Collier|
|86||Galloway Family of Dealerships||400||Retail Trade||Lee|
|87||Lynx Services LLC||400||Finance and Insurance||Lee|
|88||Morgan Auto Group||400||Retail Trade||Collier, Lee|
|89||Harbour Health Center||400||Healthcare and Social Assistance||Charlotte|
|90||iHeart Media||390||Information||Charlotte, Lee|
|91||Consulate Health Care||389||Healthcare and Social Assistance||Charlotte, Lee|
|92||Chick-Fil-A||386||Accommodation and Food Services||Charlotte, Collier, Lee|
|93||Lee County Electric Cooperative||386||Utilities||Lee|
|94||Ross Dress for Less||382||Retail Trade||Charlotte, Collier, Lee|
|95||Kohl's||381||Retail Trade||Charlotte, Collier, Lee|
|96||Lipman Family Farms||381||Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting||Collier|
|97||Salus Care||375||Healthcare and Social Assistance||Lee|
|98||Waste Management||373||Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services||Charlotte, Collier, Lee|
|100||The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club||350||Accommodation and Food Services||Collier|
a Employment figure reported by company.
b Employment figure obtained from Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW). Latest information as of 2020.
c Employment figure obtained from National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Latest information as of 2019.
d Employment figure obtained from National Establishment Time Series (NETS) database. Latest information as of 2019.
Last Updated: August 4th, 2021
The RERI complied a comprehensive list of all the economic development organizations, chambers of commerce, and visitor convention bureaus in Southwest Florida. These organizations can help you find a grant you need, understand more about how certain legislation might affect your business, or give ideas on how to take your business to the next level. Information provided includes the county or region they operate in, as well as their website, email address and phone number.
(N/A = information was not available)
Economic Development Organization
|Charlotte County Economic Development Office||Charlotte||Link||info@Cleared4Takeoff.com||(941) 764-4941|
|Collier County Economic Development Office||Collier||Link||N/A||(239) 403-2914|
|Glades County Economic Development Council||Glades||Link||N/A||(863) 946-0300|
|Hendry County Economic Development Council||Hendry||Linkemail@example.com||(863) 675-6007|
|Lee County Economic Development Office||Lee||Link||EDO@LeeGov.com||(239) 533-6800|
Chambers of Commerce
|Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce||Charlotte||Linkfirstname.lastname@example.org||(941) 627-2222|
|Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce||Charlotte||Linkemail@example.com||(941) 639-3720|
|Above Board Chamber of Commerce||Collier||Link||N/A||(239) 910-7426|
|Everglades Area Chamber of Commerce||Collier||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce||Collier||Linkfirstname.lastname@example.org||(239) 262-6376|
|Immokalee Chamber of Commerce||Collier||N/A||Immokaleechamber@comcast.net||(239) 657-3237|
|Marco Island Chamber of Commerce||Collier||Link||N/A||(239) 394-7549|
|Glades County Chamber of Commerce||Glades||N/A||N/A||(863) 946-0440|
|Clewiston Chamber of Commerce||Hendry||N/Aemail@example.com||(863) 983-7979|
|La Belle Chamber of Commerce||Hendry||Linkfirstname.lastname@example.org||(863) 675-0125|
|Boca Grande Area Chamber of Commerce||Lee||Linkemail@example.com||(941) 964-0568|
|Cape Coral Chamber of Commerce||Lee||Linkfirstname.lastname@example.org||(239) 549-6900|
|East Lee Chamber of Commerce||Lee||Linkemail@example.com||(239) 369-3322|
|Estero Chamber of Commerce||Lee||Link||info@EsteroChamber.org||(239) 948-7990|
|Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce||Lee||Linkfirstname.lastname@example.org||(239) 454-7500|
|Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce||Lee||Linkemail@example.com||(239) 332-2930|
|Greater Pine Island Chamber of Commerce||Lee||Linkfirstname.lastname@example.org||(239) 283-0888|
|North Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce||Lee||Link||N/A||(239) 997-9111|
|Sanibel Captive Chamber of Commerce||Lee||Linkemail@example.com||(239) 472-1080|
|Southwest Florida Harmony Chamber of Commerce||Southwest Florida||Linkfirstname.lastname@example.org||(800) 967-7750|
|Southwest Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce||Southwest Florida||Linkemail@example.com||(239) 418-1441|
|Southwest Florida Inc. Chamber of Commerce||Southwest Florida||Link||N/A||(239) 992-2943|
|The Chamber of Southwest Florida||Southwest Florida||Linkfirstname.lastname@example.org||(239) 433-4111|
Visitor Convention Bureau
|Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau||Charlotte||Link||Visit@PureFlorida.com||(941) 743-1900|
|Collier County Convention and Visitors Bureau||Collier||Linkemail@example.com||(800) 688-3600|
|Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau||Lee||Link||N/A||(239) 338-3500|
|Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council||Southwest Florida||Linkfirstname.lastname@example.org||(844) 988-8244|
|CareerSource Southwest Florida||Southwest Florida||Link||N/A||(800) 557-3242|
|FGCU Small Business Development Center||Southwest Florida||Linkemail@example.com||(239) 745-3700|
Last Updated: May 27th, 2022
Southwest Florida offers a wide variety of incentives and grants for businesses interested in either expanding or relocating to the region. From industrial development bonds to enterprise zones, impact fees to tax credits, each county is committed to working with individual businesses to meet their particular needs for expansion or relocation.
Select a county to learn more about the business incentives offered.
Obtained From: Charlotte County Economic Development
The Charlotte County Economic Development Incentive Program was adopted by the Board of County Commissioners to advance the mission of the County's Economic Development Office. This program was specifically created to:
- Produce high-wage value added jobs
- Reduce the tax burden on residential properties by increasing non-residential tax revenues
- Reduce the impact of economic downturns by diversifying the local economy
The core of the Program is based upon two vehicles—incentives for job creation and incentives for capital investment. A business that produces at least ten “Quality Jobs” and meets program requirements is eligible to participate. Program participants are eligible to receive both employment and capital incentives following approval of their Program Application and Agreement.
Economic Development Incentive Program
This program can be used to provide incentives to qualified applicants for job creation, capital investment or to offset infrastructure improvement costs.
Taxable Non-Recourse Economic Development Bonds
Finance many kinds of businesses.
Tax-Exempt Industrial Development Revenue Bonds (IDRB's)
Provides tax-exempt debt obligations issued by public corporations to support manufacturing, processing, and utility type economic development projects. The Charlotte County Industrial Development Authority issues these bonds in Charlotte County.
Last Updated: December 14th, 2021
Obtained From: Collier County Economic Development Office
Basic Industry Growth Promotion Incentive
The Basic Industry Growth Promotion Incentive recognizes Collier County’s desire for near-term job growth opportunities through the expansion of local companies and the recruitment of new companies that meet targeted industry requirements. Grants will be paid in installments over four years. The program is administered by the county manager or his designee.
Advanced Long-term Productivity Strategy Incentive Program
The county Advanced Long-term Productivity Strategy Program (ALPS) is designed to expand Collier County’s competitiveness by attracting extraordinary high-value economic development projects that meet targeted industry requirements. Qualified applicants may participate in the ALPS Incentive if the project creates at least 25 new jobs whose average wage meets or exceeds 150 percent of the county’s average wage. The program is administered by the county manager or his or her designee and award payments are subject to the availability of funds.
Capital Investment for Diversification Incentive Program
Collier County offers qualifying applicant’s eligibility to the CID Incentive as an inducement grant providing a benefit equivalent of up to 100 percent of the value of the transportation impact fees actually assessed and remitted for business space that directly houses the occupancy of a target industry business. The CID Incentive provides four equal annual installments of the grant amount.
State of Florida Incentives
Florida offers bottom-line advantages for long term profitability for all types of businesses, from corporate headquarters to manufacturing plants to service firms.
Industrial Development Revenue Bonds
Industrial Development Revenue Bonds (IRDBs) are securities issued by the Collier County Industrial Development Authority, for the purpose of financing capital projects for companies. That debt is a liability of the respective company, not the local governmental agency.
Last Updated: May 27th, 2022
Obtained From: Glades County Economic Development Council
Aggressive Local Option Economic Development Tax Abatement
Glades County offers an aggressive local option economic development tax abatement, which allows companies to apply to the Board of County Commissioners for an abatement of the county portion of projected ad valorem taxes from 10 percent to 100 percent for up to ten years, based on the number of jobs expected to be created, and the salaries associated with those jobs. Glades County’s commission may award the abatement for any new business which locates in the county, at their discretion. For a copy of the application, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Expedited permitting, fast track rezoning, impact fee waivers
While other communities tout expedited permitting, Glades County delivers. A building permit can be secured based on stamped, engineered plans in ten days. Rezoning property can be accomplished in two months. Water management permits for properties in the Glades County Business and Commerce Park and Americas Gateway Logistics Center can be secured within a month; more complicated environmental permits secured within six months. And Glades County has waived impact fees indefinitely.
Low overall operating costs
According to a recent economic analysis by Site Selection Group, businesses locating in Glades County will enjoy a 12 percent cost savings in overall operating costs versus the Central or South Florida Markets. For a copy of the report, email email@example.com
Foreign Trade Zone Status
Glades County is one of six counties in the Florida Heartland Economic Region of Opportunity (FHERO). As such, industrial properties in Glades County will enjoy free trade zone status under FTZ 215 as a usage driven FTZ site.
A foreign-trade zone (FTZ) in the United States is a geographical area, in (or adjacent to) a United States Port of Entry, where commercial merchandise, both domestic and foreign receives the same Customs treatment it would if it were outside the commerce of the United States.
Merchandise of every description may be held in the Zone without being subject to Customs duties and other ad valorem taxes. This tariff and tax relief is designed to lower the costs of U.S.-based operations engaged in international trade and thereby create and retain the employment and capital investment opportunities that result from those operations.
New Market Tax Credit
New Market Tax Credit census tract, allows businesses involved in manufacturing or other projects expanding in a rural community to qualify for a 39% federal income tax credit available over a 7-year compliance period.
EB-5 investment Eligibility
Contiguous with EB-5 Regional Center in Palm Beach County, making projects in Glades eligible for EB-5 investment – $500,000 in rural FL versus $1 million urban.
- Designated Opportunity Zone
- iTECH satellite campus in Moore Haven (starting classes in January 2022)
Last Updated: December 1st, 2021
Economic Development Ad Valorem Property Tax Abatement
The Hendry County Board of County Commissioners can offer an abatement of real and personal property tax at a new business location or on an expanding business. Exemptions may be granted for a period of up to 5 years.
Hendry County Permitting Process
Within ten days of an applicant submitting an application to Hendry County, the county shall advise the applicant what information, if any, is needed to deem the application properly completed in compliance with the filing requirements prescribed by the county. A properly completed application is one that contains all the required materials prescribed by the county.
Within 30 days after receiving a completed application, the county must notify an applicant if additional information is required for the county to determine the sufficiency of the application, and shall specify the additional information that is required. Each time an applicant responds to a request for additional information, the 30-day review period begins anew.
Hendry County's opportunity zone is located in eastern Hendry and includes areas around Airglades Airport and the communities of Harlem and Hooker's Point.
Governor Designated Area of Opportunity
The Governor designated Hendry County as a "Rural Area of Opportunity". Florida encourages growth throughout the state by offering increased incentive awards and lower wage qualification thresholds in its rural counties.
Foreign Trade Zone
Hendry County is one of six counties in the Florida Heartland Economic Region of Opportunity (FHERO). As such, industrial properties in Hendry County will enjoy free trade zone status under FTZ 215 as a usage driven FTZ site.
Sebring Airport Authority
Foreign Trade Zone #215
128 Authority Lane, Sebring, FL
Sebring Regional Airport
Rural Jobs Tax Credit (State of Florida)
The Rural Job Tax Credit Program provides an incentive for eligible businesses, located within designated rural counties, to create new jobs. Find out more at Floridajobs.org.
The tax credit can range from $1,000 to $1,500 per qualified employee. A business may receive up to $500,000 in tax credits during any one calendar year for its efforts in creating jobs. The credit may be carried forward for five years. File a Rural Job Tax Credit Program Application for Eligibility (Form FU-J) with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. References: Sections 220.1895 and 212.098, Florida Statutes (F.S.), and Tax Information Publication #01A01-06.
Last Updated: December 1st, 2021
Obtained From: Lee County Economic Development
Industrial Development Revenue Bonds
Industrial Development Revenue Bonds (IDRBs) are long-term, tax-exempt, low-rate financing of capital requirements for new and expanding manufacturing facilities in Lee County. IDRBs pay $3 million to $10 million, and the borrower is solely responsible for principal and interest repayment. Contact the Lee County Industrial Development Authority for more details.
Gold Key Grant Program
The Lee County EDO and Lee County Industrial Development Authority offers financial assistance to small businesses leveraging in the US Commercial Services Gold Key Matching service. For businesses that seek overseas agents, distributors, sales representatives and business partners, the Gold Key Matching Service can arrange connections with pre-screened trade partners and help with travel, accommodations, interpreters, and clerical service. Visit the International Trade Administration’s website for more information on the Gold Key Matching service.
Develop North Fort Myers
The North Fort Myers Pilot Program is a reimbursement-based incentive program that is paid after the completion of the qualified project. For those developing in the North Fort Myers mixed-use overlay area and producing a significant increase in building value, the following incentives may be available:
Reduced permit, impact, and water/sewer connection fees
- Reimbursement of up to 50% of demolition costs
- Reimbursement of up to 50% of eligible infrastructure improvements (stormwater retention, water/sewer, landscaping, irrigation, sidewalks, exterior lighting)
- Reimbursement of up to 50% of eligible flood-proofing costs (water-sealing building openings)
- Reimbursement of up to 50% of building exterior/façade improvements
- Keystone grants of up to 20% of eligible costs for large projects
15 Census tracts in Lee County are designated as Opportunity Zones. These zones are designed to incentivize new equity investments. New business investments in these areas may be eligible for preferential tax treatment.
For additional information on Opportunity Zones in Lee County visit the Lee EDO GIS HUB.
Capital Investment Tax Credit (CITC)
CITC is an annual credit against the corporate income tax, and is used to attract and grow capital-intensive industries in Florida. Projects must create a minimum of 100 jobs and invest at least $25 million in eligible capital costs. Eligible industries include advanced manufacturing, clean energy, biomedical technology, financial services, information technology, silicon technology, and transportation equipment manufacturing. CITC can be provided for up to 20 years. Contact Enterprise Florida for more information.
Florida has long been known as America’s commercial space hub. Space Florida was created to strengthen Florida’s position as a global leader in aerospace research, investment, exploration, and commerce, and is committed to driving Florida’s economic development by attracting and expanding the next generation of aerospace industry.
Florida Power & Light Company
Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) is doing its part to encourage investment and job creation in our state. PoweringFlorida is FPL’s Office of Economic Development. Through PoweringFlorida, FPL offers incentive programs to encourage business growth in the Sunshine State.
Last Updated: December 14th, 2021
Florida does not have an individual state income tax.
Statewide, the sales tax is 6 percent. Charlotte, Collier, Glades and Hendry County each have an additional local tax of 1 percent, making the sales tax 7 percent. Lee County has an additional local tax of 0.5%, giving the county a total sales tax of 6.5 percent.
For more information on the sales tax rates, click here.
Millage rates in 2020 for Southwest Florida varied between 10.8607 (Collier) and 19.1349 (Hendry).
For more information on property tax rates, click here.
|COUNTY||COUNTY-WIDE Levies||Less Than COuntY-wide levies||TOTAL MILLAGE RATE|
Corporate Income Tax
Florida corporate income tax liability is computed using federal taxable income, modified by certain Florida adjustments, to determine adjusted federal income. The Florida Corporate Income Tax rate is 3.535 percent.
Last Updated: December 14th, 2021