Economic Development

the dead lakesGulf Coast Electric Cooperative (GCEC) is a different kind of electric utility. It is a member-owned, not-for-profit utility that serves member-owners throughout Florida’s Panhandle. It got started like so many other co-ops did — to provide a service where none was available at an affordable cost.

While Gulf Coast’s membership base is over 95% residential, economic development in the areas it serves is a priority. The Cooperative has demonstrated its commitment to retaining existing business and bringing new jobs to the communities it serves for many years and has an active key accounts program.

EC Commercial Project

One of the newest programs Gulf Coast is offering its commercial and industrial customers is Electric Cooperative (EC) Commercial. Through EC Commercial, participating co-ops are able to sponsor a competitive, easy-to-use equipment financing package to commercial accounts, both within and outside their service territories.

The National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation (CFC) is offering this program to Gulf Coast and other member cooperatives. Eligible borrowers include private or public entities with active business operations including manufacturing, agriculture, wholesale and distribution, professional firms, and other operating businesses. Ineligible borrowers are those engaged primarily in commercial property investment and multi-family residential property investment.

Eligible equipment will be determined by the participating electric cooperative. Ineligible equipment includes construction, transportation, telecommunications, and data processing equipment.

For more information about the EC Commercial loan program, contact GCEC Assistant Manager Michael White at (850) 265-3631 or (800) 568-3667, ext. 3006.

Other Services

There are a number of other services which GCEC is prepared to offer including Rural Development loans, which allow our members to reap significant savings with low interest or even zero interest for projects the Cooperative evaluates and determines will produce a significant number of jobs and make a positive impact on the economic development of the areas we serve.

Gulf Coast’s engineering staff is available to new businesses as they work through the details of determining their energy use requirements. If power quality is an issue or maximizing the energy efficiency of a plant or operation by correcting power use factor, Gulf Coast has these services available to the commercial or industrial member.

The advantages of dealing with a local utility have become very apparent to new businesses that have moved to the area. With local offices in Southport and Wewahitchka, Gulf Coast has a presence throughout its six-county service area. What this means is you’ll get a faster response and more personalized service.