Area economic development organizations work hand-in-hand to create a business-friendly environment: the Bartow Chamber of Commerce; City government including the City Commission, City Manager and City Planner; Bartow Economic Development Council; Bartow Community Redevelopment Agency; County government including the Community and Small Business Assistance Center; Main Street Bartow, Inc.; and the Central Florida Development Council.
City of Bartow
The City of Bartow is committed to the economic development of the community. Its City Manager and City Department Heads stand ready to assist the business community, encouraging vision and cooperation in both short- and long-range planning and decision making.
Greater Bartow Chamber of Commerce
The Greater Bartow Chamber of Commerce offers many programs/services and is engaged on many fronts in the business development arena. To encourage the growth and economic development of the Bartow area, Chamber committees provide business members the opportunity to participate and provide input on key issues. Chamber leadership is involved throughout the wider community.
Bartow Economic Development Council
The Council is made up of 12 entity organizations that are interested in the growth and development of Bartow. President for the Council is Rob Clancey, former director for Clear Springs Polk State College Advanced Technology Center, who helped get the new college established. Council member organizations include the Greater Bartow Chamber of Commerce, City of Bartow, Bartow Community Redevelopment Agency, Polk County BOCC, BayCare Bartow Regional Medical Center, Bartow Community Healthcare Foundation, Inc.; Clear Springs Land Development; Eastside Positive Action Committee, and Main Street Bartow.Bartow Community Redevelopment Agency Bartow’s Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) grew out of a need to strengthen and expand the redevelopment efforts that began in the 1980s with Bartow’s Main Street Program. The CRA implements programs and initiatives for the redevelopment of specific areas within the city limits of Bartow, including financial incentives for business and residential projects. For more information about this organization, call Executive Director Stephen Cox at (863) 534-0121. Main Street Bartow, Inc. Main Street Bartow, Inc. is a 501(c)(6) organization whose mission is to enhance, preserve, and support economic development in the downtown historic district. Main Street Bartow, Inc.’s Executive Director is Linda Holcomb, (863) 519-0508.
Central Florida Development Council
Bartow is the home to the Central Florida Development Council,the county-based economic development organization that offers information on business incentives, workforce and training opportunities, as well as information about Polk County’s exceptional quality of life.
Polk County’s Community and Small Business Assistance Center
Polk County’s Community and Small Business Assistance Center is a non-profit organization with a collection of programs directed towards strengthening the economic benefit of the area. Services include free one-to-one counseling, on-going educational entrepreneurial training workshops and support of the activities of the U.S. Small Business Administration. Polk Works, also located in Bartow, is a regional workforce development board responsible for implementing local employment and training programs. Workforce development services are available through a variety of programs primarily through the organization’s CareerPolk workforce system. These centers are designed to provide easy access to diverse services including job placement and training, temporary cash assistance and special support services such as subsidized childcare, transportation and other specialized assistance programs.
The City of Bartow requires that every business within the city limits of Bartow hold a valid city business license. In addition, the county local business tax ordinance requires all individuals or organizations doing business, and which are located and/or operating in Polk County, to obtain an annual county local business tax receipt from the Polk County Tax Collector.