Florida Secretary of Commerce Jamal Sowell, president and CEO of Enterprise Florida, Inc. (EFI), today joined other state economic development leaders to express support for the essential economic development tools proposed in Governor Ron DeSantis’ Fiscal Year 2021-2022 budget proposal to the Florida Legislature.
“Governor DeSantis has offered a clear-eyed spending plan that delivers for Florida. His budget reflects the same steady, thoughtful approach he has brought to the state’s reopening and economic recovery,” said Secretary Sowell. “This proposal sends a message that Florida is defying national trends and remains the best place for business.”
“From Day One, Governor DeSantis has led our efforts at Enterprise Florida to deliver broad-based prosperity,” said Holly Borgmann, vice-chairman of the EFI Board of Directors. “Governor DeSantis is a champion for economic growth and the importance of diversifying our economy. This budget proposal confirms it.”
Among key initiatives in the Governor’s proposal released today:
- $50 million for the Job Growth Grant Fund. The Job Growth Grant Fund has been key to success for many communities. For example, Governor DeSantis awarded $3.6 million last year for the Northeast Florida FinTech Initiative, and $3.92 million in 2019 to facilitate expansion at the Melbourne Airport Authority.
- $5 million to fund Enterprise Florida’s targeted campaigns that market the opportunities available in Florida for businesses to realize economic and job growth.
- $50 million for the Economic Development Transportation Fund, also known as the “Road Fund”. This will provide funding for projects to facilitate economic development by eradicating location specific transportation problems (e.g., access roads, signalization, road widening, etc.)
- $2 million to support the Florida Defense Support Task Force and its ongoing efforts to support the vast military mission located here and preserve Florida’s reputation as the most military-friendly state in the nation.
- $4.7 million to fund the Florida Sports Foundation and its coordination of amateur sports programs and revenue-generating spectator events from the proceeds of sports-related specialty license plates.
- $5 million in support of the Rural Infrastructure Fund to encourage broad-based job growth and economic development in Florida’s rural communities.
- $9 million to support Quick Response Training Grants through EFI’s partner agency, CareerSource Florida, a critical tool available to support businesses seeking workers with critical skill sets in today’s evolving economy.
“The strength of Florida’s recovery is reflected in this proposal,” said Marc Hoenstine, chairman of the Florida Economic Development Council, composed of economic, workforce and community developers across the state. “Despite the headwinds of the pandemic, our governor is working to put Florida back in the hunt for game-changing economic development projects and, more Floridians in the driver’s seat of success.”
Enterprise Florida, Inc. (EFI) is a partnership between Florida’s businesses and government leaders and is the principal economic development organization for the state. EFI facilitates job growth through recruitment and retention; and small business growth through international trade and exporting programs. Governor Ron DeSantis serves as chairman of the Enterprise Florida Board of Directors.