Governor Rick Scott announced the ground breaking and ribbon cutting of food distribution leader, Cheney Brothers Inc., in Charlotte County. The ceremony took place at the site of the future distribution center and regional warehouse which will provide 380 job opportunities and more than $40 million in capital investment for the area. In addition, Charlotte County held a ribbon cutting ceremony for the recently constructed Cheney Way, which provides improved access to the new distribution center.
Governor Scott said, “The creation of a Cheney Brothers’ distribution center is great news for Charlotte County families. Florida has proven to be the perfect climate for business with the help of companies like Cheney Brothers. We’ve been working hard to create more jobs for families all over the state and since December 2010, we’ve created more than 462,000 private-sector jobs. We will continue to work to great an opportunity economy that will create jobs for future generations.”
Cheney Brothers currently has locations in Riviera Beach, Ocala and Orlando. The opening of the Charlotte County facility will provide a closer distribution center to its customers in the Tampa Bay region and southwest Florida.
“The construction of our new West Coast Distribution Center is another major step in the growth of our Florida Company. We envision a wonderful and successful relationship with the communities, the families and businesses of this region,” said Byron Russell, CEO and Chairman of Cheney Brothers, Inc.
The broader wholesale trade, transportation and logistics industry employs more than half a million Floridians. Of those, nearly 85,500 work at companies specifically providing logistics and distribution services. As the gateway to Latin America, Florida’s logistics and distribution industry is poised to grow further with the Panama Canal expansion in 2014 and the numerous infrastructure developments and upgrades underway around the state.Governor Rick Scott recently announced $8.8 billion in the “It’s Your Money Tax Cut Budget,” to make strategic transportation improvements throughout the state. This will fully fund the Florida Department of Transportation’s Work Program and continue vital investments in port, construction, bridge and other transportation infrastructure improvements.
President and CEO of Enterprise Florida, Gray Swoope said, “Cheney Brothers’new distribution center in Charlotte County is a great addition to Florida’s logistics and distribution industry. With the help of Florida’s top-ranked infrastructure, this company was able to choose a great location and will continue its success in our state. The strong workforce in Florida and great tax benefits will help companies like Cheney Brothers to continue growing and I look forward to seeing their future accomplishments.”
This project was made possible with the help of close partnerships between Enterprise Florida, Charlotte County Economic Development Office, Florida Power and Light (FPL) and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT).
“Cheney Brothers Distribution Center was enticed to locate in Charlotte County by several local businessmen that wanted to see the county grow,” says County Commission Chair, Ken Doherty. “It’s a fine testament to a healthy business community to have business leaders using their networking influence, while working closely with the County’s Economic Development Department Office, to attract other companies. When your public/private partnerships are on the right track like this, it’s the perfect recipe for success.”
FPL’s special economic development rate helped Cheney Brothers to expand its distribution center in Punta Gorda. FPL’s economic development rates provide an additional benefit to new or expanding businesses that expand their electric demand by at least 350 kilowatts and create at least 10 new jobs.
“We are thrilled to celebrate this important milestone with Cheney Brothers. We are especially honored to have played a part in the company’s decision to expand in Florida. Cheney was one of the very first companies to participate in FPL’s economic development rate and today is proof that our investments are helping the state attract and retain companies that create jobs for Floridians,” said Pam Rauch, VP of Development and External Affairs at FPL.
Support from the Florida Department of Transportation included an Economic Development Transportation Fund Grant, which is awarded to a local government on behalf of a business for public transportation improvements. The grant will be used to reduce transportation impediments and enable safe access to the distribution center.
Secretary of FDOT, Ananth Prasad said, “Transportation infrastructure plays a significant role in creating the necessary conditions for companies to expand or relocate to Florida. Because of Governor Scott’s continued investments in our infrastructure, the department is able to develop an effective and efficient transportation system that meets the needs of Florida’s citizens and businesses. Today is an exciting day for Charlotte County as the new distribution center will create jobs and have a positive economic impact on the region.”
Cheney Brothers began its family business in 1925. From the humble beginnings in West Palm Beach with one truck delivering eggs, milk and butter; Cheney Brothers has grown into one of the largest broad line food distributors across the Southeast. Cheney Brothers presently employees over 1800 people in Florida with yearly sales exceeding $1 billion. The fourth generation continues the family tradition of quality service with a focus on customer satisfaction with a personal touch. Their solid reputation extends worldwide through their export services to the Caribbean, Mexico and Latin America.
Enterprise Florida, Inc. (EFI) is a partnership between Florida’s businesses and government leaders and is the principal economic development organization for the state of Florida. EFI facilitates job growth for Florida businesses through recruitment and retention, international trade and exporting, promotion of sporting events, and capital funding programs to assist small and minority businesses.