Area Information

City of Gulf Breeze

Gulf Breeze, Florida is a waterfront community of 5,763 that prides itself on its fine small-town character, quality education, excellent local government and a multitude of waterfront activities.

The City of Gulf Breeze is located on the end of the Fairpoint Peninsula in Santa Rosa County. Gulf Breeze is separated on the north by a three-mile bridge across Pensacola Bay from the City of Pensacola and the south by the Bob Sikes Bridge over Santa Rosa Sound to Pensacola Beach. On the east, landward up the peninsula to the east is the 1,329 acre Naval Live Oaks portion of the Gulf Islands National Seashore. As a result, residents enjoy a quiet residential community just a few minutes from the Gulf of Mexico and the City of Pensacola.

City of Milton

Milton, the county seat of Santa Rosa County, is located near the center of the western Florida Panhandle county, adjacent to the Blackwater River. The City of Milton is among the oldest cities in Florida, incorporated in 1844 under the Florida Territorial Acts of 1844. In Milton’s founding days, the Blackwater River served as the main transportation artery for its timber, lumber, brick, naval stores and ship building industries. Legend has it that the area was also referred to by one of its most irritating features: the brambles and briars that once grew along the banks of the river. Hence, in its early days, Milton was referred to as “Scratch Ankle”.
A roughly five square mile city with a population of about 7,000 residents, Milton is still able to maintain the fine balance between small-town charm and modern urban life. While the growth in new housing continues, historic preservation remains important, as exhibited in the city’s downtown historic district.

Santa Rosa County Economic Development Office

The Santa Rosa Economic Development Office (formerly TEAM Santa Rosa Economic Development Council, Inc.) is a partnership between government officials and business leaders, working together to provide a combination of talent and skills to plan and develop job growth for Santa Rosa County.

SRCEDO is a public/private not-for-profit corporation. The board of directors, which meets quarterly, is comprised of trustee members, representatives from cities and the county, and representatives from chambers of commerce. An executive committee, elected by the board of directors, meets on a monthly basis. Standing committees comprised of volunteers throughout the county assist in specific issues of business/marketing, steering committee, military, and finance. SREA corporate and private members, government representatives and staff are committed to the support and positive growth of Santa Rosa County.

Town of Jay

On the 30th of November 2002, Jay, named after its first postmaster, J.T. Nowling, celebrated its centennial anniversary. With its friendly and caring people, this small town near the Florida/Alabama border has perfectly illustrated small town U.S.A. for more than 100 years.

A small group of farmers began a livestock market in 1940 and reached sales of up to $1 million within 10 years. This industry continues to flourish today.

Oil was discovered here in 1970. The Jay oilfield has approximately 67 oil wells – eleven within the town limits. Royalties from the oil have exceeded $400 million and have enabled us to build a new city hall, fire department, and recreation complex.

Jay continues to develop but holds fast to its small-town roots.

UWF Haas Center

The Haas Center is a research and consulting arm of the University of West Florida that engages in applied research and strategy development in economics and across the social sciences. The Haas Center has played a prominent role in economic development efforts across the Northwest Florida region and around the state for the past two decades.

The Haas Center is independently funded solely by project revenue that its team generates. The staff is composed of economists, political scientists, industrial-organizational psychologists, multi-media specialists, GIS analysts as well as database and IT experts. The Haas Center staff’s extensive knowledge of regional and state economic and workforce issues allows them to engage in a wide variety of research projects which include economic and tax impact studies, workforce development studies, industry cluster analyses, market and feasibility analyses, economic and demographic profiles, and custom database and analytics work.

Haas Center staff also work closely with regional economic development entities to provide data to cities, counties and states in efforts designed to attract business and industries to the region.

Florida Small Business Center @ UWF

The Santa Rosa County Small Business Development Center is available to area business and residents requiring assistance with starting a new business, expanding an existing business, developing business plans, obtaining economic and demographic information and statistics. Appointments for consultations can be made by calling (850) 474-2528.