• Brevard County approves $10.5M in business incentives but won't say what for

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    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - Commissioners in Brevard County have approved $10.5 million in grants for projects "eagle" and "panther," which are code names for two companies promising a big boost to the local economy.

    While the cash is a lot in terms of incentive, members of the Economic Development Commission of Florida's Space Coast, Space Florida, and others, believe Brevard County will see a return on its investment for two business grants provided through the North Brevard Economic Development Zone.

    "It's going to change the game of our economic base," said Lynda Weatherman of the EDC.

    The EDC is bound by confidentiality agreements not to reveal the names of the companies receiving the incentives.  But they are believed to be aircraft manufacturer Embraer and Blue Origin, the space company founded by Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos.  

    Bezos will be at Cape Canaveral later this month to make a major announcement on the commercial space industry.

    "We'll be assembling vehicles outside the gate. Remember just a few years ago we were a launch pad," Weatherman said.

    Blue Origin is expected to bring 300 jobs with an average salary of $89,000 and Embraer at least another 100 jobs, but despite that, Tuesday's grants were not approved by the Brevard County Commission without controversy.

    "You're here to appropriate money with no public knowledge of where the money is going," said Clerk of Courts Scott Ellis.

    The business agreements should become public in about six months to a year, officials said.

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