ICYMI: Daytona Beach News-Journal: Gov. Scott holds up Boston Whaler as proof of Enterprise Florida’s worth

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Gov. Rick Scott holds up Boston Whaler as proof of Enterprise Florida’s worth
Daytona Beach News-Journal
Casmira Harrison
April 4, 2017

For the second time in two years, Gov. Rick Scott dropped into Southeast Volusia to do some cheerleading for boat manufacturer Boston Whaler.

The first visit came in May 2015 when the boat-building company underwent an expansion that added more than 120 jobs, leading Scott to tout the plant’s 600-strong workforce. By Tuesday’s visit, the company had increased its numbers to around 750 employees with plans to add a whopping 350 workers over a two-year run.

AN ENTERPRISING VISIT: Enterprise Florida is at the center of a prolonged legislative fight. Scott has been promoting business incentive programs like the Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund program Boston Whaler took advantage of in its 2015 expansion, and is pushing to keep both Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida intact.

Scott has proposed $85 million for incentives offered through Enterprise Florida, the state’s economic development agency, according to a News Service of Florida report last week. The House voted to abolish the organization on March 10 and House Speaker Richard Corcoran has engaged in a battle with Scott over its value.

Amid the scent of laminate resin and surrounded by Boston Whaler’s massive warehouse facility, Enterprise Florida got several plugs, including from Volusia County Councilwoman Deb Denys.

“They’re doubling our efforts,” said Denys of the state tax incentive program.

Boston Whaler President Nick Stickler touted the partnership he said the company has with Enterprise Florida.

“They can help introduce us to the right people,” Stickler said. “They can help move projects forward and those things allow us to do what we’re good at.”



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