Santa Rosa Beach is known as the umbrella for the beach communities that South Walton area locals and tourists enjoy throughout the year. The community boasts luxury beach houses, upscale dining and artistic flare.
Topping off its accolades, Santa Rosa Beach was recently named Florida's 2013 eCity by Google.
Every year, the Google eCity Award recognizes the strongest business communities in each of the 50 states. Google and independent research firm Ipsos MORI analyze the online strength of local, small businesses through the country. According to a press release, the analysis weighed a variety of factors to determine the leading cities and towns, including the likelihood of small businesses to have a website, use a blog, promote themselves on a social network, sell goods directly from their webpages and whether they have a mobile-friendly website.
Winning cities exhibit strong engagement and potential for growth within the online community.
"I can absolutely see why Santa Rosa Beach was chosen," said Wendy Morton, vice president of operations at the Walton Area Chamber of Commerce. "Santa Rosa Beach is very successful in developing a business climate while still maintaining the Old-Florida charm. The area offers an abundance of culinary and recreational choices and upwards of 90 percent of business have websites. We're proud and honored to get to represent the state of Florida."
For Commissioner Cindy Meadows, the award showcases Santa Rosa Beach as a place that positively impacts economic development all year long — not just during the tourist season.
"E-commerce is a very important part of the economic development equation," said Meadows. "I am glad to hear of Google's selection of Santa Rosa Beach. It means more recognition that Walton County is "The Place" to work, live, and play."