The city of Cape Coral will unveil a new image campaign aimed at economic development during a ceremony Thursday and the public is invited to attend.
At 11 a.m., city officials will announce the campaign's launch at 19101 N. Tamiami Trail in North Fort Myers, the gateway to the Cape. The goal of the campaign is to let businesses know that "Cape Coral is Open for Business."
"We want to grow the commercial side of our tax base," Dana Brunett, director of the city's Economic Development Office, said Tuesday.
Raising awareness of the opportunities in the Cape for businesses is key. He noted that the Cape is the largest city situated between Tampa and Miami.
"We're trying to put Cape Coral on the map," Brunett said. "To make sure that our brand is getting out there beyond the boundaries of the city."
The city's EDO has partnered with Baton Rouge-based Lamar Advertising, which has an office in Fort Myers, to create and launch the campaign.
"We're helping them," Ed Bolter of Lamar Advertising said Tuesday.
Vice president and general manager, he declined to go into specifics about the campaign, but said more could be done to get the city's name out there.
"We could do a lot better job at promoting the Cape," Bolter said.
According to the company's Web site, Lamar Advertising is the nation's leading outdoor advertising firm. The firm specializes in bulletins, posters, digital billboards, buses, benches, transit shelters and highway logo signs.
With more than 200 locations in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico focused on outdoor and transit advertising and 22 locations devoted to logo signs, it offers services on a national scale, but with a local market insight.
The firm has more than 155,000 outdoor advertising structures.
Brunett said the image campaign has been in the works for about two months. The idea was brought forward before, but went nowhere.
"We kind of put it back on the table," he said.
According to Bolter, the proposal never took hold because of the shifting political environment within the city's government - council and staff.
"Everything kept changing. It just could never gain momentum," he said. "We got a little bit of stability now and things are moving forward."
The public-private partnership is only costing the city staff time.
"We're trying to do more with less," Brunett said. "We're taking advantage of the opportunities to work with private side partners."
"We're working with other companies doing some other things, too," he added.
Though Brunett would also not get into the specifics of the campaign, he called the advertising "more broadbased." The aim is to draw businesses to the Cape to fill in the holes in the areas of retail, office and light industry.
"We're really trying to stretch the image of Cape Coral," he said. "We should be a known entity outside of the state. We want to get on the radar."
Cape Coral was ranked among the best places to open a business in the United States in 2009, according to city officials. Cape Coral/Fort Myers secured a spot as the 2012 Best Mid-Sized Florida City for Job Growth.
The site of the unveiling ceremony is 1.25 miles north of the Del Prado Boulevard Extension on U.S. 41, near the Circle K and Gold World on the west side. Parking will be available in the Circle K lot and the surrounding area.
The Cape Coral Economic Development Office is at 1015 Cultural Park Blvd. For more information, call (239) 574-0444.
Lamar Advertising is at 14580 Global Parkway, Suite 104, Fort Myers. For more information, call (239) 225-0543.