Open For Business, started as a partnership between business and government leaders to overcome business challenges in Central Florida. It is the first of what leaders across the Central Florida region hope will be many such collaborative initiatives.

For regional economies to strengthen and grow, community leaders must address many variables. In 2011, six business-led organizations came together to ask, “What could be done to identify the economic and regulatory barriers to business growth in Central Florida?”

This collaborative effort quickly morphed to more than 150 business and government entities working together to identify what we could do as a region to remove barriers to stronger, more predictable business practices. From that research, Open For Business was born—and its first initiative focuses on developing minimum standards of permitting across a geographic footprint that includes seven counties and 86 cities.

What we learned by listening together, as business and government leaders, is that most of our businesses are operating in a minimum of four counties and multiple cities across our region. And while many cities and counties were improving their individual permitting processes, they weren’t aligned across the region.

For instance, prior to Open For Business, a contractor who needed permits for Osceola County, Winter Haven, Orlando and Seminole County had to go to four different places to discover each local government’s permitting standards—and found four different approaches to permitting to try to decipher and process.

What we launched was a beginning point to address that complexity. This website is a convenient one-stop spot where local government permitting standards for each participating county and city are at your fingertips and where Open for Business offers an agreement across the region on the minimum standards that are applied in each certified local government.

What does that mean for you as a business owner?
Predictability. Consistency. Time and money savings.

And this is only the beginning. What has started with the seven counties and 24 cities that are pioneering this initiative will grow as more cities become certified as Open For Business.

Open For Business from Prismatic.