Economic Development News Round-up froom The Florida Economic Development Council

President's Message

Good afternoon.
Registration is open for the 2015 Winter Symposium. Take a moment to register today before space fills up. Remember, you must log in as a member in order to get the FEDC Member rate. Both hotel and Symposium space is limited. Take a moment to register now!
FEDC will start having Linkedin discussion groups. If you have a topic that you would like our group to discuss, please send your ideas to This will be an interactive way for you to ask for input or find best practices for your organization. Submit your questions now!

Rebecca Rust, after 35 years as Chief of Labor Market Statistics for DEO, has accepted a new job as an Assistant Commissioner at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in Washington, DC, effective December 1, 2014. It is not clear if her successor will maintain the press release mailings in the future, but the staff will be updating the web sites each month and handling your data requests on an ongoing and timely basis.  From the entire economic development community in Florida, it is with happiness and sadness that we wish Becki congratulations in her new role in Washington DC. She is sought nationally for the excellent job she was done for Florida. We wish her well in her new endeavor.

Amy L. Evancho
President & CEO
Florida Economic Development Council

News and Accomplishments

Read all of this week's news in the FEDC Newsroom

September 2014 Employment Statistics Released

Florida’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.1 percent in September 2014, down 0.2 percentage point from the August 2014 rate of 6.3 percent, and down 0.8 percentage point from 6.9 percent a year ago. The state’s September rate was the lowest since June 2008 when it was 6.0 percent.

There were 590,000 jobless Floridians out of a labor force of 9,637,000. The U.S. unemployment rate was 5.9 percent in September. Florida’s unemployment rate has been less than or equal to the national rate for 14 of the last 17 months.

Florida’s seasonally adjusted total nonagricultural employment was 7,827,200 in September 2014, an increase of 13,400 jobs (+0.2 percent) over the month.

Compared to September a year ago, the number of jobs in the state was up by 205,600, an increase of 2.7 percent. Nationally, the number of jobs was up 1.9 percent over the year. Florida’s annual job growth rate has exceeded the nation’s rate since April 2012.
Downlsoad September 2014 Employment Statistic »

Enterprise Florida Offers Grants For Colombian Show Exhibitors

Enterprise Florida, the state’s economic development agency, is offering grants to Florida marine businesses to exhibit at the USA Pavilion at the March 21-23 Cartagena International Boat Show in Colombia. The pavilion, hosted by the National Marine Manufacturers Association, offers turnkey booths for about $3,000 to $6,000, depending on the booth size and whether the exhibitor is an NMMA member. Enterprise Florida will award qualified companies a grant of as much as half the cost of a booth, to a maximum of $6,000, said Larry Bernaski, Enterprise Florida regional manager for international trade development and marine industry exporting.

Qualified companies must be at least two years old, make their product in Florida and be Florida-registered. Enterprise Florida gives preference to manufacturers or exclusive manufacturers’ representatives in awarding the grants. Grantees must be small businesses, as the U.S. Small Business Administration defines them. “The rule of thumb is 500 employees or less,” he said.

Bernaski said Enterprise Florida’s brief in the trade arena is to encourage Florida companies to export and to diversify their exports to multiple foreign markets.
Read More »

Business Development Board Announces DRB Capital, LLC’s Expansion – 75 New Jobs

In cooperation with Enterprise Florida and the City of Delray Beach, the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County (BDB) announced that it has facilitated DRB Capital, LLC’s expansion at its Palm Beach County operations. DRB Capital provides liquidity solutions to individuals and small/medium size businesses. DRB’s core businesses include structured settlement and annuity monetization and litigation funding, via its US Claims brand. DRB Capital leases 19,223 square feet located at 1625 S. Congress Avenue in Delray Beach and will add 75 new positions with an average annual salary of $70,629.

The Business Development Board assisted DRB Capital through the incentive process with the State of Florida and City of Delray Beach. Glenn E. Gromann, Esq. introduced DRB Capital to the BDB and coordinated the incentives applications for the company through the BDB. DRB Capital received a Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund of $450,000 with $360,000 from the State of Florida and $90,000 from the City of Delray Beach. Kelly Smallridge, President and CEO of the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County said, "Palm Beach County has seen a significant increase in financial companies seeking to expand or relocate over the last two years. The favorable tax and business environment, and access to wealth and quality of life are all key factors to this growth. "
Read More »

DEO Director Points To Positive Economic Development In Lake County

Jesse Panuccio, head of Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity, was visiting Leesburg last week and said he likes several initiatives Lake County is doing to spur economic development here. The county is bridging the gap between workforce and education by collaborating with Lake Technical College to open the Center for Advanced Manufacturing to train workers in manufacturing, machining and welding. Further, the center’s curriculum will be tailored to existing companies and companies the county hopes to target in light manufacturing, clean manufacturing and technology, according to county officials.
Read More »

Osceola High-Tech Manufacturing Center Breaks Ground

Osceola County and the University of Central Florida broke ground Thursday on a new high-tech manufacturing facility near Kissimmee. Originally aimed at producing smart sensors, the facility may also include a broader focus on photonics. The Florida Advanced Manufacturing Research Center, originally announced in June, is expected create a new hub for manufacturing, attracting thousands of jobs and eventually growing into a $200 million project. The sensors would be used in appliances, cars, surgical devices, mobile phones and other technology – known as smart sensors. On Thursday morning, UCF President John Hitt said the effort is also moving quickly to expand the focus of the facility beyond sensors, to include photonics research. Hitt said the university is pursuing a $200 million in federal and private funds to house a national Integrated Photonics Manufacturing Institute.

The center is a partnership among Osceola County government, the Florida High Tech Corridor Council and the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission. Enterprise Florida, the University of Florida and the University of South Florida also are partners. The center will include a 100,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art manufacturing research facility set to open in 2016. Partners in the project aim to create the world’s first industry-led smart-sensor consortium. The facility will develop manufacturing processes and materials to advance production of smart sensors. Randy Berridge, president of The High Tech Corridor, noted that the groundbreaking occurred much faster than most people expected.

Read More »

State Selects Century To Participate In Competitive Florida Partnership

The Town of Century has been selected to participate in the Competitive Florida Partnership, a rural community development initiative. The Competitive Florida Partnership focuses on improving local economic development activities, particularly in the rural areas of Florida. The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity will assist Century in working to implement the town’s strategic economic development plan in a way that is tailored to the community’s unique character and vision. One facet of the program will be to create a community asset inventory that will be available to local businesses wishing to expand or potential businesses interested in moving to Century.

The Competitive Florida Program will help Century to market the community’s local assets and to set realistic goals for advancing the town’s economic development vision. The program will help Century develop an innovative economic development strategy that promotes partnerships, community design, and a vibrant local economy.

Read More »

Florida SBDC Celebrates Hispanic-Owned Small Businesses

Across Florida, Hispanic-owned small businesses are making an impact. In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month, the Florida SBDC Network is highlighting successful Hispanic-owned small businesses from across the state who are creating jobs and helping lead Florida’s economic recovery. According to a recentstudy by Geoscape and the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the number of Hispanic-owned businesses nationwide is expected to grow to more than 3.22 million in 2014. This represents a 43 percent growth rate since 2007, a figure more than double that of all U.S. firms.

In Florida, Hispanic-owned firms make up 22 percent of the state’s small business population. These businesses, like Deerfield Beach-based H2O International, Inc. and Orlando-based Kings Service Solutions, LLC. play an important role in Florida’s economy.

Read their stories in the full Press Release from Florida SBDC »

McCarthy, Hatt Receive Awards at Space Coast EDC Annual Meeting

The Economic Development Commission of Florida's Space Coast is pleased to announce its 2014 recipients of the Gary R. Cunningham Distinguished Service for Economic Development and Volunteer of the Year awards. The winners were announced last night at the EDC's Annual Meeting held at the Crowne Plaza Oceanfront in Melbourne.

The Distinguished Service for Economic Development award was presented to Eugene 'Gene' McCarthy, a long-time resident of Brevard County.

This year’s recipient of the EDC's Volunteer of the Year Award is Don Hatt.

Read More »

Get Ready for Minimum Wage Increase January 1, 2015

The minimum wage will rise to $8.05/hour, effective JANUARY 1, 2015. The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity has set up a webpage with all of the required posters and notices so you can get your workplace ready for the change.

Read More »

Career & Professional Education Act (CAPE) – Deadline Extended to OCTOBER 31

Since the Career and Professional Education Act was created in 2007, the Florida Legislature has been vigilant in building upon its successes, ensuring its growth in agility and responsiveness to the talent needs of Florida businesses. You may be aware that new measures were approved during the 2014 legislative session that further enhance this alignment to better prepare Florida students to seize career opportunities and offer more immediate value to businesses. These new measures have implications on the process by which industry certifications may be submitted to CareerSource Florida.

The submission period for 2015-2016 will open August 18, 2014, and conclude October 31, 2014. I urge you to both review the FAQ, which answers high-level questions you may have about the new process, and visit the resource page CareerSource Florida has created to help guide you through the process and provide valuable information for business, education and economic development stakeholders.

Read More »

Interactive Demographic Map of Florida from Florida Trend

Check out this cool interactive map from our friends at Florida Trend Demographic and targeted industry information for every region of Florida in a single click!

Read More »

Job Links

Palm Beach Business Development Board
Vice President, Business Retention and Expansion

Palm Beach Business Development Board
Vice President, Business Recruitment

City of Hollywood
Vice President, Economic Development – Rural Communities

Palm Beach Business Development Board
Corridor Redevelopment Manager

City of St. Petersburg
Economic Development Analyst

Lee County
Manager of Business Development

City of Coral Springs
Economic Development Manager

Business Development Board of Palm Beach County
Vice President, Business Recruitment

City of Boynton Beach
Manager of Economic Development

St. Johns Chamber of Commerce
Vice President of Economic Development

Nassau County Economic Development Board
Executive Director

Delray Beach Community Redevelopment Agency
Economic Development Director

Enterprise Florida
Manager, Business Development

City of Eustis
Economic Development Director

Hillsborough County Economic Development Department
Coordinator, Competitive Site Analysis

Lake Wales Area Chamber of Commerce:
Executive Director

City of Leesburg
Economic Development Director

City of Longwood
Economic Development/Special Projects Manager

Marion County
Economic Development Liason

Central Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce
Associate Director of Economic Development Initiatives

Central Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce
Associate Director of Finance & Operations

Central Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce
Associate Director of Marketing, Communications, and Public Relations

Tampa Hillsborough EDC
Business Development Manager, Business Retention and Expansion

Team Volusia EDC
Marketing and Communications Specialist

Director of Economic Development


Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast Annual Meeting

October 15, 2014
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Tech Talk with Steve Schuetz

October 14, 2014 @ Tampa Bay Innovation Center

Beacon Council Annual Meeting

October 15, 2014
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IEDC 2014 Conference

October 19 - 22, 2014 Fort Worth, TX
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2014 Alliance Annual Meeting and Dinner

October 23, 2014 @ Signature Grand in Davie
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Florida Companies to Watch

October 23, 2014 @ 5:30PM - 9:00PM at Hard Rock Live
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2014 Martin County Business Appreciation Luncheon

October 29, 2014 @ 11:30AM - 1:30PM at Hutchinson Island Marriott
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38th Annual Basic Economic Development Course

November 3-6, 2014, USF Tampa Campus
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Business And Trade Development Mission To Sao Paulo And Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

November 11-19, 2014 - REGISTRATION DEADLINE: OCTOBER 2, 2014
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HBIF Success Stories Luncheon: South Florida

November 12, 2014 @ 11:30AM, The Biltmore, Coral Gables
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Space Coast Startup Weekend

November 14-16th, 2014 @ FIT Center for Aeronautics and Innovation Building.
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Tampa Bay Partnership Annual Community Update

November 21st, 2014 @ Hotel Carillon, St. Petersburg
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FEDC 2nd Annual Winter Symposium

January 15th & 16th, 2015 @ Lago Mar
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28th Annual Government Small Business Conference hosted by SBDC TampaBay
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Enterprise Florida

Florida High Tech Corridor

Florida Trend



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