At the Haines City Economic Development Council, our goal is to provide businesses with the resources they need to thrive. We serve as a liaison, connecting companies with outside entities that offer the necessary support and incentives. Whether a business is just starting out or looking to grow, we offer a variety of tools and services to help them succeed, including job training programs, tax exemptions, infrastructure improvements, funding for relocation and expansion costs, energy incentives, and CRA incentives.

Polk County’s 2023 Average Annual Wages


or $23.23/hr



or $26.72/hr



or $29.04/hr



or $34.85/hr



or $46.47/hr



Our concierge service offers expert guidance every step of the way. Contact us today to learn more about how we can support your business success in Haines City.


Job Training Programs

The Haines City EDC connects businesses with third-party providers of job training programs aimed at building a competent and skilled workforce.



This flexible grant is designed to provide financial assistance to employers that recognize the importance of investing in their employees. It can increase your employees’ skills by gaining an industry-recognized certification or averting a layoff.

Benefits include:

  • Provide your employees with new skills important to your business
  • Up to 75% of your direct training costs are reimbursed
  • The flexibility to choose your own trainer and curriculum (or training course)
  • CareerSource Polk Business Services assists throughout the grant process

CareerSource Polk



The Veterans Florida Business Training Grant is a program aimed to help Florida businesses hire and train military veterans by providing access to training and education in high-demand fields. Businesses can apply for the grant, which matches 50% of the training costs up to $8,000 per veteran employee trained. The application process involves requesting an application from the Veterans Florida website, which will guide the business through the process and assist with reporting and grant reimbursement. Reimbursements are made after the business has been reviewed, approved, and certified as a Veterans Florida Certified Employer.

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The IWT offers expense reimbursement grants for customized skills upgrade

training available to existing for profit Florida businesses. Businesses with 25 or fewer employees receive priority and, as with the Quick Response Training Program, priority is given to businesses in targeted industries and in distressed urban and rural parts of Florida.

For additional information contact Jean Wagner at Polk State Corporate College at 863-669-2933 or [email protected].

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The grant provides an opportunity for your business to train new employees in the skills needed to perform their job effectively. It offers up to 75% reimbursement of the OJT employee’s wages durning the contract period.


  • Jobs must be permanent and full time
  • Eligible training hours must be between 160 to 1040 hours
  • The employee must be paid an hourly rate of at least $12 per hour

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The QRT grant provides funding for customized training for new or expanding

businesses that produce an exportable product or service. Companies must be creating full-time, high-quality jobs requiring specialized training that is not available in the local community. Priority is given to businesses in targeted industries and in distressed urban and rural areas of Florida.

For additional information contact Jean Wagner at Polk State Corporate College at 863-669-2933 or [email protected].

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Tax Abatement

Our team also helps businesses access tax incentives and exemptions from external organizations such as the State of Florida and Polk County, to reduce operational expenses and improve their bottom line.



The Polk County Ad Valorem Tax Exemption (AVTE) program is a tax incentive designed to encourage businesses to invest in the local community and create new jobs. The program provides a tax exemption on new or improved property that results from an investment in real property, tangible personal property, or both.

The AVTE program is available to eligible businesses in Polk County, Florida. The eligibility requirements include being a new or expanding business that creates a certain number of new jobs and makes a significant investment in the community. The minimum job creation requirement is 10 new full-time positions, while the minimum investment requirement is $500,000 for the county, and $50,000 for Haines City.

To apply for the AVTE program, businesses must complete an application form and provide the required documentation including information about their business, the number of employees, their salaries, and the amount of investment in the community.

Overall, the Polk County Ad Valorem Tax Exemption program is a valuable tool for businesses looking to expand and create new jobs in the area. By providing tax incentives, the program encourages investment in the local community and helps to support economic growth in Polk County.

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Impact Fee Mitigation

Our team at the Haines City Economic Development Council works with both public and private sector partners to support businesses and encourage economic growth in the Haines City area. We collaborate with local and state agencies, as well as utility companies and other service providers to provide essential infrastructure improvements such as road upgrades, water and sewer systems, and enhancements to telecommunications networks. By working together, we can help businesses thrive and create new jobs in our community.



The Polk County Economic Development Impact Fee Mitigation program provides a reduction of impact fees for construction projects that meet certain eligibility requirements. To qualify, the project must be a Qualified Target Industry Business and meet specific requirements such as creating a minimum of 10 new full-time jobs paying an average annual wage of at least 115% of the average wage for Polk County, making a capital investment of at least $10 million, and maintaining the business and jobs in Polk County for at least seven years. Owners of real property can also qualify for the mitigation if they lease their facilities to a Qualified Target Industry Business for a minimum of seven years. The amount of mitigation depends on the number of jobs created, average wage, and capital investment made. The program imposes a lien on the capital facilities impact construction in the amount of the impact fees mitigated for a period of seven years, or alternatively, the applicant may post an irrevocable letter of credit. The program requires an application and a $500 administrative fee, and the applicant must supply documentation to demonstrate compliance with the program's requirements. Failure to meet the requirements at any point during the agreement term negates the impact fee mitigation award.

For more information about the Polk County Economic Development Impact Fee Mitigation, please contact the Haines City Economic Development Council. They can provide additional details and answer any questions you may have.

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Industrial Revenue Bonds

We help eligible companies secure funding from external sources to cover the costs of relocation and expansion, including rent, equipment, and other expenses.



Polk County's Industrial Development Authority is an organization created by a special act of the Florida Legislature. Its purpose is to finance the cost of capital projects that are conferred on counties, municipalities, special districts, and other local governmental bodies under the Florida Industrial Development Financing Act. The organization achieves this through the issuance and sale of revenue bonds. The Industrial Development Authority acts in a manner that is consistent with industrial development authorities created pursuant to Florida Statutes Section 159.45.

The Florida Statutes Section 159.46 defines the purpose of industrial development authorities as being to finance and refinance projects for the public purposes described in the act and by Sections 159.44 to 159.53, Florida Statutes. The main objective of the organization is to foster the economic development of a county, including Polk County. Industrial development authorities, including Polk County's, are responsible for promoting economic growth in their respective areas through the development of businesses and industries. By financing and refinancing projects, the Industrial Development Authority aims to help local communities attract and retain businesses that contribute to economic development, job creation, and the growth of the tax base.

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Energy Incentives

We facilitate connections between Duke Energy and businesses new to the area helping new industry with energy incentives to reduce costs and improve sustainability.



Duke Energy is a utility company that provides electricity services in many regions of the United States, including Florida. The company offers several rate options for its customers, including a specific program for economic development projects called the Economic Development Rider (ED-2).

The ED-2 program is designed to help companies that are investing in new facilities, expanding operations, or relocating to the region. To qualify for the program, the company must be a new or expanding business that meets certain requirements, such as creating new jobs or making a significant capital investment.

If approved, the company will receive up to a 30% discount on their electricity rates for a period of five years. This can result in significant cost savings and help make the project more financially feasible. By providing cost-competitive rates, Duke Energy aims to support economic development and job creation in the region.

Program Details



Duke Energy's Florida Investment Fund is a program designed to encourage and support new and expanding business growth in the state of Florida. The program provides financial assistance to businesses in the form of matching or leveraging funds or in-kind resources from local or other sources. The program's goal is to attract businesses to the state and help existing businesses expand, which, in turn, creates new jobs and stimulates economic growth.

The Florida Investment Fund is available to businesses in Duke Energy's service area, which includes many areas throughout Florida. Applications for the program are accepted on a competitive basis, and funding is available until all funds have been committed. This means that businesses must act quickly to apply for the program to ensure that they can secure funding for their projects.

The program provides a range of benefits for businesses, including financial assistance that can help offset the costs of expanding or relocating to the state. The program is intended to be flexible, so businesses can use the funds in a way that best suits their needs. Additionally, by leveraging other sources of funding or in-kind resources, the program can help businesses secure additional support for their projects.

Duke Energy



CRA Incentives

Our concierge service offers expert guidance in connecting businesses with other Haines City resources to streamline the process of locating or expanding in Haines City.



The Haines City Community Redevelopment Agency's Business Redevelopment and Facility Improvement Program is an annual initiative that provides grant funds, matched by private investment, to eligible commercial properties within the approved Redevelopment Area. The program aims to assist property owners in improving the exterior of their buildings, increasing commercial occupancy rates, recruiting targeted businesses, and improving property values in redevelopment areas. The maximum grant amount is $50,000. The funds may only be used for specific improvements to the building exterior or property where the business is located. Prohibited uses include permit fees, non-licensed labor, improvements on properties with liens or code violations, and improvements prohibited by the zoning code. To be eligible, the property must be within the boundary of Haines City Community Redevelopment Area, have all necessary financing secured, be a commercial use, meet approved targeted business objectives, and be free from any judgment liens, code violations, and current on mortgage and tax obligations. The project selection criteria include obtaining all necessary permits and approvals, having licensed contractors perform the work, agreeing to maintain the improvements for at least five years, and submitting three itemized bids for proposed eligible work items. It is recommended that applicants retain the services of a qualified contractor or design professional to prepare plans, drawings, and construction specifications for their project.

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P. O. Box 3845, Haines City, FL 33845
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