The Economic Development Council is partnering with the Federal Reserve on the 2020 Small Business Credit Survey. This survey is meant for businesses currently in operation, those recently closed and those about to launch. Your responses will provide critical information that service providers, policymakers, and lenders use to improve programs for small business owners like YOU!

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Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin MSA

Okaloosa County, Florida, also identified as the Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin MSA, may be best known for the sugar white sands and emerald green waters that draw millions of visitors each year. Yet the community is far more than just another pretty face. Eglin Air Force Base, the world’s largest Air Force installation, hosts the headquarters of the Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), the 96th Test Wing and the 33rd Fighter Wing (F-35 graduate flying and maintenance training wing) among others. With research and testing at the forefront of activities taking place at Eglin, numerous technology and defense contractors have located here – including renowned powerhouses Boeing, BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin and L3 Technologies. All benefit from a pro-business local government, award-winning public schools (including Florida’s first STEM-focused middle school), a myriad of post-secondary education options and a steady stream of young, technically astute military retirees.

Population 2019 - 207,115

In Okaloosa County, businesses thrive in an environment with favorable tax and regulatory climates that offer bright, talented people the opportunity to innovate.

Age Distribution


Labor Force

Okaloosa County provides its business community with the resources and infrastructure needed to optimize business operations and promote growth and expansion.

Due to the expansive military presence, retired and otherwise separated military personnel make up a large portion of the area's available workforce. These veterans represent nearly a quarter of Okaloosa County's population. This demographic of the county's workforce are skilled and disciplined and of high value to the local defense contractors.

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Labor Force

Buying Power


Cost of Living

Source: Sperlings Best Places, As of March 2017

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