By: Felipe Rivas
2 min read March 2020 — Once known as America’s most fun small town, Delray Beach is quickly transforming into a much bigger town with a more diverse local economy, while still maintaining its fun atmosphere. The Palm Beach healthcare and financial sectors continue to grow and solidify in cities like Delray Beach. The Delray Beach Chamber of Commerce is working closely with the business community to help diversify the economy further and continue to attract talent to Delray Beach, CEO Stephanie Immelman told Invest: Palm Beach. The city has not had problems attracting young talent due to its favorable tourism roots and fun atmosphere. With its diverse economy, the city is well-positioned for future growth as there is available land for new development outside of the Downtown area, Immelman said.
How is the chamber working with the business community to improve hiring in a tight labor market?
Delray is more than a tourism town, though we have built a reputation based on tourism. There is a lot of diversity here in terms of business. We have one of the largest automobile sectors in South Florida, for example. Also, our healthcare and financial services sectors are very strong. In terms of the tight job market, this year we are hosting job fairs. We have done job fairs for the automobile and hospitality and tourism sectors. We are working very closely with our business community and members to drive those people in Delray Beach who need jobs to the businesses that have them. That is a big focus for 2020. We want to make sure that the economy works for everybody. This will make our community stronger in the long run.
How have Delray’s demographics changed in the last few years?
We have not had a difficult time attracting young people to Delray Beach because of our tourism roots. We are known for being the most fun small town and that is attractive to young people. Today, you can work anywhere you want to. Financial advisers and managers from the Northeast are starting to relocate to the area because of their ability to work anywhere, for example. We have a lot of working spaces and incubators targeting entrepreneurs. Our economy started with tourism because we have a beautiful and charming town, but we are branching out and targeting entrepreneurs and businesses.
How is Delray preparing for future growth?
There are many places for the wealth to spread to. In our core Downtown area, the rents are really high, but there is a great deal of room to spread to other areas. There are many ways to make other areas in Delray as charming and amazing as Downtown. We are well-positioned for this growth in the county and South Florida in general. The city is hyper-focused on affordable housing. Any development in the region is going to have an affordable housing component. There is space to develop further.
In what new ways is the chamber connecting with the community?
We are really big on video. We have a weekly Delray Morning Live video show where we talk about what is happening in the city in the coming week. That has had a lot of traction and is doing very well. We want to expand it to culinary- and tourism-related content. We are all about communicating that way. It is important to create content and speak to people in a way that relates to them today.
To learn more about our interviewee, visit: http://delraybeach.com/