With 20 days left until the 2015 Legislative Session ends, there are many targets moving.
As it relates to Enterprise Zones: It is looking more and more like the program is going to move to a local program, without state involvement at this point. HB7067 makes this a local program, and requires local governments to waive certain fees and taxes.
As it relates to the economic development toolkit: There are multiple vehicles moving at this point through the House and Senate. Negotiations continue to evolve when it comes to a certain dollar amount for economic development. In previous discussions the current budget looks to range from $50-$60 Million, but with 20 days left to go there is still plenty of room for movement in regards to how budget items will be finalized. This is a critical time and we encourage you to continue to reach out to your delegations about the importance of the toolkit. As items change, we will keep you posted.
Finally, please don’t forget to register for the 2015 FEDC Conference. Please visit
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Join economic developers from around Florida to discuss the most important issues in economic development today. Florida is well-positioned for a resurgence in job growth and prosperity. This conference will highlight the Pioneers, Leaders, Innovators, Entrepreneurs, and Catalysts that will drive Florida’s economic future. Learn and experience how Florida is Leading the Way.
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The online reservation system for the Walt Disney Swan Resort is NOW OPEN. Standard room rates are $199 and upgrades are available. You may make your reservation online or by calling 1-888-828-8850.
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Nominations are NOW OPEN for Florida Companies to Watch presented by GrowFL
Florida Companies to Watch celebrates growing second-stage companies headquartered in Florida and is a unique way to recognize and honor high performance in the marketplace with innovative strategies and processes, making them “worth watching.”
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Statewide Florida Manufacturing Career Fair Set for April 22
CareerSource Chipola, Chipola College, and the Northwest Florida Manufacturers Council are teaming up with state partners Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Florida TRADE Consortium, and the Manufacturers Association of Florida to connect the local workforce with careers in advanced manufacturing. Along with other regional workforce boards across the state, CareerSource Chipola will host the Florida Manufacturing Career Fair on April 22, to give those seeking employment the opportunity to meet with local manufacturers.
“Manufacturers in Florida are growing and hiring,” said Nancy Stephens, Executive Director, Manufacturers Association of Florida. “They want employees looking for meaningful careers that make a difference in others’ lives. Today’s manufacturing is high skill and high wage. Those wages circulate through the economy, improving the quality of life for all citizens.” The Florida Manufacturing Career Fair is a component of the “Drive to 1,000,” a Florida TRADE Consortium initiative to place 1,000 Florida TRADE students into manufacturing jobs over the next year; however, the Career Fair is open to all and may provide opportunities to anyone interested in a hands-on, high-tech career. In Marianna, the Career Fair will take place 1-4 p.m. Wednesday, April 22, at the CareerSource Chipola career center.
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Bill Johnson To Keynote Palm Beach BDB Economic Forum
Bill Johnson, Florida's commerce secretary and Enterprise Florida, Inc. president, will be the keynote speaker when the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County has its economic forum April 23. Johnson will kick off the event with his talk at 8 a.m., at the Palm Beach County Conventon Center, 650 Okeechobee Blvd. in West Palm Beach. The event goes through about 1:15 p.m. Breakout sessions include a panel discussion on economic competitiveness led by Shannon LaRoque, assistant county administrator. Other sessions focus on attracting corporate heaquarters, an education initiative and real estate discussion.
The event concludes with luncheon speaker John Kaliski, Cambridge Systematics, who will present a Florida trade and logistics study by the Florida Chamber of Commerce. Individual tickets are $95. Registration and Information
Jesse Panuccio Sails Through Senate Confirmation Hearing
Gov. Rick Scott's jobs chief sailed through a Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday, drawing one question and no debate. Jesse Panuccio, executive director of the state Department of Economic Opportunity, got the backing of the Transportation, Tourism and Economic Development Appropriations Subcommittee. Panuccio, who previously served as Scott's general counsel, moved into the post at the Department of Economic Opportunity in January 2013 following the resignation of Hunting Deutsch. Panuccio joined the governor's office in early 2011 as deputy general counsel. Panuccio must still be approved by the full Senate.
This story courtesty of the News Service of Florida
Florida Leaders Celebrate General Aviation’s Economic Contributions at Jobs Rally
U.S. Senator Bill Nelson and U.S. Congressman Bill Posey today joined the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), hundreds of manufacturing employees, aviation enthusiasts, and local leaders at a jobs rally celebrating the significant economic impact of general aviation in Florida. “General aviation has been a big part of Florida’s history and economy,” said U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL). “The state looks forward to many more years of growth and job opportunities in the aviation industry.”
A recent PricewaterhouseCoopers study highlighted general aviation’s importance to the Florida economy. The state ranked in the top 10 U.S. states in terms of total jobs attributable to general aviation and in the top three U.S. states in total GDP impact of general aviation. GAMA Chairman Joe Brown, President of Hartzell Propeller, said, “As we celebrate general aviation’s strong economic and jobs record in Florida today, we also recognize the industry’s impact throughout the United States, where general aviation companies employ 1.1 million people and support $219 billion in total economic output annually. This includes not only those directly employed by the general aviation industry, but their suppliers as well—creating a powerful ripple effect that touches numerous segments of the U.S. economy.”
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Global IT Show In Dubai Offers Florida Firms Chance To Showcase Products
Enterprise Florida Inc. will host Florida small businesses at the Oct. 18-22 GITEX Technology Week in Dubai, an annual event that attracts more than 143,000 professionals from around the world from nearly 150 countries. Florida companies from the information technology and communication sectors are invited to participate at the show, which is considered a business gateway to the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia.
“For our exporting companies around the state, exposure to international buyers is crucial to their success and allows them to grow and create jobs,” said Manny Mencia, Enterprise Florida’s senior vice president of international trade and development. “International business account for 17 percent of Florida’s economy, and shows like GITEX and markets like the Middle East provide tremendous opportunities for those companies.” Florida, in fact, boasts the second-highest number of exporters in the United States, and in 2013, the United Arab Emirates was the state’s eighth-highest merchandise export destination. Interested companies should contact Andrea Moore at (850) 469-8989 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The registration deadline is April 25.
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Florida Offers Small-Business Loan Programs
Small business alert: Applications are being accepted for two loan programs, according to Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity. Eligibility for the Microfinance Loan and Microfinance Guarantee programs is limited to businesses and entrepreneurs with 25 or fewer employees and average gross annual revenues of $1.5 million. “Programs like these support the small businesses that are the backbone of the state’s opportunity economy and job growth,” said DEO Executive Director Jesse Panuccio.
Under the Microfinance Loan Program, administrators can make short-term microloans of up to $50,000 to small businesses and entrepreneurs. Each loan is contingent upon the borrower completing business training and receiving technical assistance from the Florida Small Business Development Network. The Microfinance Guarantee Program guarantees up to 50 percent of loans offered by a bank for between $50,000 and $250,000. For more information and the list of loan administrators, visit floridajobs.org/microfinanceprograms
Gadsden County to Identify Economic Development Opportunities
Gadsden County officials are searching for the county’s best assets in an effort to boost economic development. Gadsden County was selected for the Competitive Florida Partnerships Designation back in October. It provides technical and financial assistance for rural communities to look at economic conditions and identify tourism opportunities. Gadsden County has visited 24 sites throughout the county and has identified several assets.
Allara Mills Gutcher, the Gadsden County Director of Planning and Community Development, says, “The goal of this whole project is to have an economic development strategy that we can have as a road map as we move forward in assisting, not only our existing businesses, but, to encourage new businesses to come to Gadsden County.” Stakeholders will finalize a strategic plan by June. Financing from the $40,000 state grant ends at that time.
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Medytox Solutions Increases Palm Beach County Workforce Beyond Earlier Estimates
Medytox Solutions, Inc. plans an additional expansion of its facility in Palm Beach County, Florida. The company originally announced its expansion will create 60 jobs, but has recently set a goal to hire up to 90 associates over the next 12 months. Gov. Rick Scott said, “We are pleased that Medytox picked Florida over other states to expand and grow. In February, we announced that Medytox will create 60 jobs in Palm Beach County and is currently ahead of their projected hiring goals and has hired 19 people since the beginning of the year. Today, we are proud to announce they plan to create jobs 90 jobs in Palm Beach County.”
Bill Johnson, Enterprise Florida president and CEO said, “Florida’s nearly 700,000 health care professionals mean that companies are able to find and hire highly-skilled employees to help their companies succeed. Medytox is a great example of companies that are able to grow in the state, and their increased hiring goals are more proof that Florida is a premier business destination for the life sciences sector.” This project was made possible with the help of close partnerships between Enterprise Florida, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, the City of West Palm Beach, Palm Beach County and the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County.
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Bradenton-Sarasota Area Named No. 1 in U.S. for Well-Being
The Bradenton-Sarasota-North Port area was ranked No. 1 in well-being out of the 100 largest metro areas in the United States, according to Gallup research. That means means residents like what they do, have supportive relationships and are proud of their community. The results are based on more than 176,000 interviews with U.S. adults across all 50 states and the District of Columbia, conducted from January through December 2014. The area’s index score was 64.1, with 100 being the highest score. No other Florida areas made the top 10.
“North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, the community with the highest overall Well-Being Index score, does not lead in any element, but is in the top 12 in all five elements,” Gallup wrote. “This community is characterized by particularly strong physical, financial and social well-being, ranked second, second and fourth in the nation, respectively, in those elements. Raleigh, Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura and Chattanooga each have three well-being elements in the top 10.”.
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NASA Picks Oldsmar IT Firm For Contract Potentially Worth Tens Of Millions
Talk about winning the space race: Vology, a technology solutions company in Oldsmar, has been awarded a 10-year contract — and a potential slice of a $20 billion to $30 billion pie — to provide NASA with the latest in IT innovation. Vology, a $180 million company specializing in virtualization and Cloud-based technology — in other words, swapping out old tech with new tech, something the federal government is trying to do — was one of more than 60 companies to share in the government contract. The ompany, which is headquartered in Tampa Bay but has offices in five other U.S. cities, is hoping Vology’s take in all of this will be “tens of millions of dollars. But we have to ramp up to that.”
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