What a busy month January has been! From FEDC's Winter Symposium to Enterprise Florida meetings to IEDC's Leadership Summit, this month has been filled. Kelly Smallridge and the BDB of Palm Beach County hosted the Summit and did a great job! Kudos to Kelly and the Host Committee!
February is starting off with a bang as well. FEDC and Tax Watch will release their report on Enterprise Zones next week. Once the report is released, we will have it available for our members. Also, we are working on a legislative toolkit that will be online and available for you all to use during Session. We will have that available to you next week as well. Lastly, the FEDC Board has approved the
on our website.
3802 Spectrum Blvd.
Governor FDOT Visioning Forums Start NEXT WEEK
Please join the Florida Department of Transportation for a series of Transportation Visioning Forums! These forums provide an opportunity for Floridians to offer their thoughts about the state’s transportation system at all levels - statewide, regional, and local.
Fort Walton Beach
Times and locations can be found on the FEDC Calendar of Events: http://www.fedc.net/newsroom/calendar/
Governor Scott’s Budget Proposal Includes $122.4 Million for Economic Development
Governor Scott has released his budget recommendations. In regards to funding economic development in Florida,he stated: Florida’s goal is to be the number one destination for jobs in the world. Today, Texas is our number one competitor for jobs -but Governor Scott has set the goal of unseating Texas by 2020 and taking this top spot. Because of Florida’s low tax environment, smart regulatory structure, and educated workforce, Florida is well positioned for growth in science, technology, engineering and math fields such as advanced manufacturing, medical research, and other high-tech research and development.
Attracting and Retaining Florida Businesses-The “KEEP FLORIDA WORKING” budget provides approximately $122.4 million for Florida’s economic development public-private partnerships. The Department of Economic Opportunity’s public-private partnerships include but are not limited to:
- Enterprise Florida Inc
- VISIT Florida; and
- Space Florida
In addition, $85 million is provided for economic development incentives such as the Quick Action Closing Fund, the Qualified Targeted Industry Tax Refund, and the Innovation Incentive Program. A key component of this funding is the flexibility to react quickly to economic opportunities, which will enhance the business retention and job creation.
More Highlights and Budget Download [PDF] »
BLS All States Employment and Unemployment Release – December 2014
Regional and state unemployment rates were generally lower in December. Forty-two states and the District of Columbia had unemployment rate decreases from November, four states had increases, and four states had no change, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Forty-six states and the District of Columbia had unemployment rate decreases from a year earlier, two states had increases, and two states had no change. The national jobless rate declined to 5.6 percent from 5.8 percent in November and was 1.1 percentage points lower than in December 2013. Compared to the ten most populous states, Florida had the fourth lowest unemployment rate (5.6 percent) in December 2014 and ranked third in over-the-year job gains, behind Texas and California.
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Florida’s Outlook Best Since 2007
Chris McCarty, director of the Economic and Business Research at the University of Florida, described the positives in a publication of the state’s chief financial officer, Jeff Atwater:
- Retirees are moving to Florida again. Now they are able to sell their homes up north. The 260,000 new arrivals for this year is near the 300,000 recent average.
- Consumer confidence in December hit a post-recession high.
- The unemployment rate has dipped below 6 percent and should near 5 percent by the end of 2015.
Sean Snaith, director of the Institute for Economic Competitiveness at the University of Central Florida, says Florida’s economy is now solidly passing the nation’s. Job growth “ended with a bang” in 2014 and should continue.
Other positive facts for 2014 from Atwater’s office and the Governor’s Office:
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- Gas prices have fallen 37 percent.
- Florida ranked No. 2 in new home permits to Texas. And Northeast Florida racked up the best year for new homes since 2007, reported the Northeast Florida Home Builders. Nocatee alone is the No. 3 planned community in the U.S. for home sales
- Florida has become the third most populous state, passing New York.
- Florida is the No. 2 state for doing business, reports Chief Executive Magazine.
- Florida has the third best work force in the nation, reports CNBC.
- Florida has the No. 5 business tax climate, reports the Tax Foundation.
- Florida’s annual job growth rate has exceeded the nation’s since April 2012.
- Home sales in Florida are robust, and median home prices are up.
Enterprise Florida Hosted Small Businesses at Arab Health 2015
Secretary of Commerce and Enterprise Florida, Inc. (EFI) president & CEO, Gray Swoope, announced that EFI hosted the Florida Showcase at Arab Health 2015, showcasing 31 small and mid-sized companies marketing their medical and healthcare products to an international audience. Arab Health is the largest healthcare event in the Middle East, with the addition of the new Zabeel Hall at the Dubai International Exhibition Centre.
Secretary Swoope said, “Each year we work to create opportunities for more Florida small businesses to build trade partnerships in the Middle East, and this year EFI will host 31 companies at the Florida pavilion. Florida’s life science industry is expanding and these companies are a great example of that growth. By helping to promote the industry we are creating a thriving economy for Florida in both national and international markets.”
Florida has nearly 1,000 biotech, pharmaceutical and medical device companies, making it third in the U.S. for pharmaceutical and medical manufacturing businesses. Additionally, there are more than 44,000 healthcare establishments around the state. In all, more than 700,000 healthcare professionals work in Florida.
International trade and foreign direct investment accounted for about one-sixth of the state’s economic output last year and supports an estimated one million jobs. Florida has the highest trade surplus among all states, with total trade exports plus imports hitting a record of $162.2 billion. Florida has a number of strengths to leverage, including one of the fastest-growing international economies, strong air and seaport infrastructure, and a large and well-qualified multicultural workforce.
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Steel Company Expands at Tampa Port, Creates 108 New Jobs
A steel company with local roots and an international reach is expanding, adding 108 jobs and investing $18 million in a new facility on Port Tampa Bay property. Tampa Tank Inc. and Florida Structural Steel plans to construct a 120,000 square-foot building at Port Redwing and retrofit an existing 40,000 square-foot building there. The company will add 24 jobs at its headquarters in Ybor City and 84 jobs at Port Redwing. The project is the result of a partnership with the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corp., the City of Tampa and Hillsborough County, which provided state and local incentives totalling $2 million. The company had been considering expanding in the Bahamas.
Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn called the project “a big win for Tampa, for Port Tampa Bay and for our local residents who will secure high-wage jobs at Tampa Tank’s Ybor City headquarters and Port Redwing.” He said this project will kick off a revitalization at Port Redwing, which has been sitting vacant for years. Port Tampa Bay is working to create a cluster of steel producers at Port Redwing and Port Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer Raul Alfonso has said he’s been busy shopping for other businesses that would be compatible with the property. He expects to have another company on board within the next few months. Tampa Tank signed a 20-year lease with the port.
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Research Park at Florida Atlantic University Recognized by International Economic Development Council
The 2014 Silver Excellence in Economic Development Award was recently presented to the Research Park at Florida Atlantic University. Crystal Stiles, Economic Development Project Manager, FPL, presented the award, noting that it was the second consecutive year the Research Park was recognized with this honor. The award was accepted by Bruce C. Rosetto, Board Chair and Andrew Duffell, President & CEO. The selection by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) was made from more than 560 international applicants.
“What distinguishes the Research Park,” said Simon R. Kay, ATG President and Chief Executive Officer, “is its relationship with FAU and other area universities. Through engagement with the universities, tenants here can rely on a continuous stream of academic talent and exchange of ideas.” In 2015, the Research Park is celebrating its 30-year history of fostering startups and seeing them through various stages to become power houses in their fields of excellence.
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Florida Exports Up 3.6% in November
The latest international trade numbers show that $5.15 billion worth of goods left Florida for international markets in November, an increase of 3.6 percent from October, according to Durham, N.H.-based e-forecasting.com. The November data is the most recent available.
Exports of manufactured goods contributed significantly to the state’s international trade, accounting for 74 percent of all state exports in November. Exports from state manufacturers increased in November by 1.8 percent from the previous month to $3.79 billion. Exports of non-manufactured goods also went up 9 percent in November to $1.36 billion. This group of foreign sales consists of agricultural goods, mining products and re-exports — foreign goods that entered the state as imports and are exported in substantially the same condition.
Prospects for Florida exports over the next few months will depend on the pace of incoming orders from foreign buyers. According to the December business survey conducted by the Institute of Supply Management, purchasing executives continue to be optimistic about the prospects of selling their products overseas.
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Space Coast EDC Announces Manufacturing Industry Award Winners
The Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast (EDC) is pleased to announce the 2015 recipients of the Innovation Company of the Year and Manufacturer of the Year awards. The winners were announced yesterday at the EDC’s Investor Update Meeting where companies in our innovative Made In Brevard program exhibited locally made products. Created to honor local manufacturers, these awards recognize companies who are committed to our community and bringing new opportunities through job creation and capital investment.
The first award is the Innovation Company of the Year. This award recognizes a business who has demonstrated innovation in one or more of the following areas in the past year: product or service offerings, manufacturing processes or productivity, sales and marketing approach and/or management of resources – resulting in increased investment. The EDC presented this award to Roswell Global located in Rockledge, FL.
The EDC also announced the recipient of the Manufacturer of the Year award. This award recognizes a Brevard County manufacturer that has made or announced a significant investment in the County through job creation and/or retention, new capital investment, and new construction. The EDC presented this award to MC Assembly located in Melbourne, Florida.
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