Support Grows for Leesburg's Proposed Foreign Trade Zone

The City of Leesburg is proposing a new foreign trade zone based at its international airport to help promote more economic development throughout this growing area of Central Florida.

“Leesburg is working to create more economic development, and the airport is a major part of it,” said Leesburg City Commissioner Bill Polk. “This will be a big benefit to all of Lake County – not just Leesburg.” 

If approved, Leesburg International Airport will join more than 250 other foreign trade zones based in major ports of entry around the country including Orlando International Airport, Orlando-Sanford International Airport, Cape Canaveral, Miami and Pensacola.

These federally designated zones provide significant financial benefits to local businesses that import and export items, reducing or eliminating duties and fees for products shipped internationally. Private companies operating in foreign trade zones also may utilize streamlined customs procedures, making work faster and easier to accomplish. 

Image Left: A jet parked at Leesburg International Airport. Image courtesy City of Leesburg.

“The proposed FTZ will be a tremendous asset to the area and an important factor in the region’s continuing efforts to attract new industry and investment, in addition to expanding existing businesses,” wrote Tavares Mayor Robert Wolfe in a letter on behalf of his city.

Leesburg International Airport is eligible to create a foreign trade zone in a large part because it is a growing transportation hub and includes a U.S. Customs and Border Protection office among its many aviation services. The foreign trade zone helps businesses at the airport, but the same benefits can be extended to other nearby areas like Tavares and Clermont or specific locations like Leesburg’s industrial and technical park off of County Road 470 and Florida’s Turnpike.

“This could encourage economic growth across Lake County,” said Lake County Commissioner Jimmy Conner. “I hope something positive comes from it.” 

“I want to commend Leesburg and the airport for making this effort to help the local economy and to diversify business here,” said Lake County Commissioner Tim Sullivan. 

For more information about Leesburg’s proposed foreign trade zone, contact city airport manager Leonardo Treggi at (352) 728-9786, ext. 1130. 

Leesburg is a progressive city of more than 20,000 residents in northwest Lake County. The city government serves twice as many people with its electric, gas, water, wastewater and fiber-optic public utilities. Leesburg also is a central hub for commerce, attracting 50,000 people to work each weekday.