Collier County commissioners plan to give $600K to Naples nonprofit

Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Credit: WINK News.

Money questions surround a Collier County partnership designed to bring business to the county.

This year, Collier County board of commissioners will give Naples nonprofit organization Economic Incubators $600,000 in taxpayer money.

“I don’t want tax dollars wasted,” Anthony Layton said.

Layton wants the $600,000 being incentivized to bring business to the county to be allocated elsewhere. Layton, who has lived in Naples most of his life, wants to see the investment to go directly back into the community.

“A lot of things like schools, fire department, police department, management, waste management,” Layton said.

The board of county commissioners will review Economic Incubator’s progress with the taxpayer money at its first budget meeting in April. Commissioner Penny Taylor said it’s been long enough, and it’s time to take a look at what’s going on.

“It was created five years ago at a very different economic time,” Taylor said. “And I think the feeling is perhaps based on what they’ve been able to do, but they haven’t been able to do. It’s probably not something we want to be involved in”

Questions the board will ask and review:

  • Has the program been effective?
  • Has the program helped with job training?
  • Has the program brought business to the county?

Chairman Richard Grant of Economic Incubators said the county’s funding is critical to the nonprofit’s local development mission.

Grant hopes the board’s review turns out positive for the progress he said the nonprofit has gained with companies they have assisted through its program.

“There have been some companies that have been in the program and have left and seem to have blossomed,” Grant said. “We have some now in the program that we think have that possibility. Only time is going to tell if they will”

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