Equity and Inclusion

Best Metros for Minority Owned Business 2021

 Fort Myers-Cape Coral area is ranked #2

Best Metro for Minority Business Owners is a ranking we are proud to receive by Lantern Credit.  The article discusses a vibrant immigrant community and Fort Myers supports opening a business here.  Thanks for recognizing the hard work being done in the City of Fort Myers. 

Impact investing increases equity and inclusion and provides capital to foster competition and innovation. The City of Fort Myers has a healthy investment climate that is robust and transparent with public trust at the forefront of creating equity and inclusion. 

Bringing capital to the area promotes economic growth and development in areas of Fort Myers that historically have been underserved and creates jobs that improve the lives of those around us. When equity and inclusion are part of the equation it is good business for the community.  

Ways to have a Positive Impact on the Community

Public-Private Partnership

Consider the Public-Private Partnership that resulted in the Florida Collaboratory. New opportunities have been formed to help the community and this article represents a shared vision for a happier, more connected and more equitable community. Collective change is happening and with the help of the community we will continue to map out actions to support businesses in all parts of the city. 

Positive Impact Available for Specific Areas

Another aspect of equity and inclusion is improving the strength in our investment opportunities. The importance of removing business constraints that impede successful performance is a condition that can improve the existing financial system and in some cases offer additional incentives for successful projects.  We have opportunities within the City of Fort Myers to take advantage of New Business Tax Credits and Opportunity Zones to improve the success rate in areas with a higher low-income population.  We have agreements in place to waive impact fees within the Enterprise Zone. Thank you for finding ways to create a positive impact in areas that have historically been excluded with financial investment. Here are some projects within Florida at the  New Market Tax Credit Coalition.  Public-Private partnerships played an important role in creating community change.  We believe high social impact and jobs to distressed communities builds equity and inclusion. Evaluating the New Market Tax Credit Program  

We value our community members and capturing qualifications and diversity of the labor force increases our workforce talent.  Opportunities exist to grow your talents or to understand how they transfer to other The ease in which you can use resources such as Careersource and the Small Business Development Center provides opportunities for businesses to improve their economic performance.

For existing businesses, have you considered how your business creates a positive culture? The best advocates for the culture of any business is your own employees.  Another perspective for you to consider is that diversity is a number, Inclusion is a choice, and belonging is a feeling.  We want to see an increase in diversity because of the added value of different life experiences and how that benefits everyone to have a different perspective and add to the conversation.  More importantly is how we choose to treat one another for a positive and equitable environment.  

Do you have a pipeline to develop talent?  Here are some additional resources on the topic.

Apprenticeship and Driving Equity


The City of Fort Myers is recognized as one of the best metros for minority business owners.


Learn more about doing business with government:

Office of Supplier Diversity


Sign up as City of Fort Myers Vendor


Ask About Residential Development and Possible Impact Fee Waiver in the Enterprise Zone