Indiantown hoping enterprise zone classification brings businesses and jobs

Would offer tax credits, incentives for businesses

MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. - W & W Lumber has been around for more than 50 years. There are about a dozen employees at the Indiantown location. But they sure could use a couple more.

Store manager, Scott Britton, says, "I feel like we could add some if there was a monetary value there like with the tax incentive. But as it goes, without it, we can't add."

But soon, businesses could get tax incentives to relocate to Indiantown. And existing ones, like W & W lumber, could qualify for thousands of dollars in tax credits to create more jobs and invest more in equipment. That's if the state approves the Martin County Commission's strategic plan to establish Indiantown as an enterprise zone.

Republican State Rep. Gayle Harrell represents the 81st District. She says, "It's going to level the playing field for Indiantown with other rural communities. I think it's also going to help diversify the economy out here."

Companies are already asking questions and expressing interest, according to Kevin Powers of Indiantown Realty. Powers says, "The fact that the phone has been ringing allows us to have a conversation."

Once all of the plans are approved, Indiantown would become the 60th enterprise zone in Florida. Currently, there are no other enterprise zones in Martin County. And when you've got a town whose poverty rate has jumped 33 percent compared to 11 years ago, any help is welcome.

Britton explains, "With the tax credit... I can hire 2 to 3 more employees. They'll be paid for. We can move forward. Grow the business with customer service."

So, with the enterprise zone classification, stores like W & W Lumber hope to keep the place buzzing with the sound of customers and not the crickets.

If everything is approved, the enterprise zone incentives could begin next year.

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