Is Santa Rosa County overdue for a business incubator?

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Santa Rosa County typically outperforms a lot of its Florida peers in categories like quality of education, quality of life, community health and crime rate.

However, a recent study indicated some residents think the county is lagging behind in one important area: attracting and developing new businesses.

Over the next two months, a group of graduate students from Florida State University will be studying Northwest Florida — with an emphasis on Santa Rosa County — to determine the appetite and opportunity for local business incubators.

Speaking to the potential benefits of a small business incubator, Shannon Ogletree, Santa Rosa County economic development director, said, “A business incubator will allow small business owners to come to one location. It will get them beyond their garage and give them an office setting to have client visits, collaborate with other small business owners and bounce ideas off of each other. Having this space will help encourage more startups and allow us to further assist small businesses in the county.”