Game Changer Boca’s economic development office dedicated to luring, retaining businesses

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If you ask Boca Raton’s Economic Development Manager Jessica Del Vecchio, she says selling Boca to a business is like selling a Bentley.
“Just sit in it,” she said.
In a mobile world where people can do business anywhere, it is her job to make sure businesses know that Boca is open for business, their business specifically.
“People can do business everywhere,” she said. “Here, less than a mile and you can be in the sand.”
The Brooklyn native has called Boca home since 1991. She is the city’s first economic development manager. The position was created about a year and a half ago by the city and she has grown the position from scratch.
Even though her position is new, the city had a plan for economic development. Since 2010, the city put $1 million aside annually to pay for economic development initiatives.
Now, Del Vecchio has that money to use to put competitive incentive packages together for businesses interested in calling Boca home for their corporate headquarters.
Since she joined, Orangetheory Fitness has announced plans to move its corporate headquarters to Boca, Gov. Rick Scott visited to congratulate KRS Global Biotechnology on its expansion and plan to create 160 news jobs for Boca and online yacht charter company Yachtico relocated from Germany into Research Park at Florida Atlantic University and created 50 jobs.
There are about 60 corporate headquarters located in the Palm Beach County. Of those, more than 30 are located in the city of Boca. And that number is growing, she said.
“We are uncovering more every day,” she said. “More companies are going public.”
Recently, Boca-based Sensus Healthcare rang Nasdaq’s opening bell. The medical device company is working on non-melanoma skin cancer and keloids and recently went public.
Currently, she is working on a project dubbed “P2P,” which plans to bring 838 above average salary jobs to the city. She said her office gives the companies nicknames to protect their privacy while they consider their move to the city.
Since she joined the city, she has been involved in six projects that dealt with corporate headquarters moving to Boca.
Securing a move isn’t the office’s only job. Once a business agrees to moves to the city, her office is involved in the entire process from permitting to inspections. Her office is also there to make sure businesses stay in Boca once they open.
“We help with everything,” she said. “We try to make it as efficient as possible. We want people to know Boca is open for business.”
Del Vecchio came to the city with a finance background. Her previous job was with a hedge fund company in Boca. Now, she is selling the city she lives in.
“Live Boca, love Boca,” she said.