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Our Area

Local business is brisk with large corporations calling Polk County home. Publix Supermarkets got its start here when George W. Jenkins, the founder of Publix, opened his first grocery store in Winter Haven in 1930. Now based in Lakeland, in 2011, Publix, the largest employee-owned grocery chain in the U.S., was ranked #6 in sales volume nationally and #1 in Florida of privately owned companies. Additionally, it also serves as one of the area’s largest employers with 770 stores throughout the State. In 2014, CSX contracted with Evansville Western Railway to construct its Central Florida Intermodal Logistics Center right here in Winter Haven. Located on 932 acres, this integrated logistics center serves as a transportation hub for all of Florida and much of the southeast region of the United States bringing with it approximately 8,500 jobs and over $1 billion in economic output to the area per year. Amazon, the online retail giant, opened the doors of its new distribution center in Lakeland in August, 2014. The 1 million square foot facility welcomed more than 400 full-time employees to the area and was the first warehouse for Amazon to open in Florida. With the second warehouse facility opening in Ruskin, Florida (Hillsborough County), the retailer had projected to bring approximately $300 million in investments to the State by the end of 2016. Other large corporations like Wal-Mart and Sherwin Williams also make Polk County a major point of origin by housing their distribution centers locally.

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