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State-of-the-economy report lauds 2023 economic development in Lee County

Business and community leaders from across Southwest Florida gathered Feb. 1 at Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre for a state-of-the-economy presentation that revealed encouraging signs about the local economy.

The Annual Meeting of the Horizon Council, Horizon Foundation and Lee County Economic Development Office attracted more than 350 guests as industry experts revealed numerous economic accolades from 2023 while offering a preview of the vision for business growth and development in 2024.

Notable 2023 Lee County statistics presented included:

  • 20,000+ jobs added year-over-year in Q1-Q3.
  • 2,850 new businesses registered within Q1-Q3.
  • 4.4 million visitors in the first six months of the year.
  • Those visitors had an $8.3 billion impact on the economy.

Additionally, the event recognized outgoing officers, including Horizon Foundation Immediate Past President Holly Smith and a “passing of the gavel” to incoming President Mark Stevens.

Special recognition was given to Ben Siegel, who is retiring after 32 years as executive director of the Lee County Port Authority.

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