MILTON — The Santa Rosa County Economic Development Office released the county's first strategic plan outlining objectives, goals and recommendations for the future. Garner Economics and DCI presented the plan's recommendations to the board of county commissioners Monday. The plan, which is available for download at www.santarosa.fl.gov, outlines optimal target industries that best match the county's unique competitive advantages and defines marketing strategies to share its business opportunity story.

"This economic development strategy outlines a clearly defined roadmap, taking us five years into the future and ensuring we take the right steps to see smart, strategic growth and transformation," Santa Rosa County Commission Chairman Bob Cole said.

Santa Rosa County Economic Development Director Shannon Ogletree said, "We appreciate the recommendations and will see what we can implement quickly. Some of the things we are already doing include bringing on a consultant and focusing on retail and white tablecloth restaurants."

Conducted by consulting firm Garner Economics LLC in partnership with Development Counsellors International (DCI), a public relations and marketing firm, the five-year strategic plan was created with input from focus groups, an electronic survey, and a demographic, economic, labor and business sector analysis.

"Santa Rosa County is unique in the unprecedented population growth it has experienced over the past decade," said Jay Garner with Garner Economics. "This county is on the cusp of a genuine transformation. Combining the plan's recommendations with the competitive advantages of military talent, natural resources, and a strong K-12 educational system, will set the county up for future success."