MILTON — Seven local businesses on Sept. 19 received recognition at the Santa Rosa County 2017 Industry Appreciation event in the county auditorium.

Awards included those for 10- and 20-year milestones, expansion and community support.

Victor Leotta, of Leotta Location and Design, was the event's guest speaker. His business seeks to discover land ideal for economic development.

“You can have a quality workforce, favorable taxes and infrastructure,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if there’s no good dirt. It’s the elementary particle of economic development.”

Santa Rosa County County Commission Chairman Rob Williamson announced the winners and those who received special recognition.

For milestones, the county recognized R&L Carriers for 20 years of business and Avalex and Boise for 10 years each.

Cape Horn Boats won the Expansion Award.

App River won both the Innovation and Directors Awards.

Goldring Gulf Distributing won the Community Spirit Award.