Enterprise Florida, Inc. (EFI) today joins other state economic development organizations to commend Governor Ron DeSantis’ steadfast investment in economic development priorities in his Fiscal Year 2023-24 Framework for Freedom budget proposal to the Florida Legislature.
“Through Governor DeSantis’ bold leadership, Florida continues to reach new heights as a national economic leader,” said Laura DiBella, Florida Secretary of Commerce and President & CEO of Enterprise Florida. “Businesses and people alike are looking for a climate of certainty and a place of opportunity to start, expand, or relocate their business, and our Governor has shown time and again that Florida is the best place to live, work, and invest. The Framework for Freedom budget items announced today will allow Enterprise Florida to continue in its mission of supporting the Governor by bringing more companies and jobs to our great state.”
Governor DeSantis’ budget proposal includes the following economic development initiatives:
- $100 million for the Job Growth Grant Fund which in partnership with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity promotes public infrastructure and workforce training across the state.
- $30 million in for the Rural Infrastructure Fund to facilitate the planning, preparing, and financing of infrastructure projects in rural communities which will encourage job creation, capital investment, and the strengthening and diversification of rural economies.
- $7.5 million for Quick Response Training administered by CareerSource Florida, this grant program provides reimbursement for customized training to new or expanding businesses needing to train new hires for high-wage, high-demand jobs in targeted industries.
- $6 million to support the Florida Sports Foundation in its mission to promote Florida’s unique sports industry and to assist Florida communities and host organizations, including small market and rural communities, in attracting sports events which generate significant out-of-state economic impact for the state.
- $3 million to fund the Florida Defense Support Task Force, Florida’s leading military and defense support program, in various initiatives including maintaining and expanding the missions of Florida’s military installations, improving transportation access to Florida’s military installations, and strengthening state support for military families and veterans with a focus on education, health care, employment and family programs.
- $2.1 million to support the Florida Made Export Initiative in an effort to serve small- to medium-sized Florida-based companies that are looking to grow revenues by exporting their Florida-made products and services into international markets.
- $935,000 to fund the Florida International Business Representation Growth to enhance Florida’s International Representation Program by expanding coverage into new international markets and to expand Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from new high-growth industry sectors by adding 8 new markets to Enterprise Florida’s international coverage.
- $590,000 to support EFI’s Business Intelligence Program to consolidate and improve EFI’s research capabilities.
- $560,000 to develop the Florida Accelerator Bridge Program that will strategically target internationally based technology multipliers (incubators, accelerators, clusters, and other entrepreneurial organizations) to raise awareness of Florida’s unmatched opportunities for growth, strategic investments in businesses, and freedom first policies, and support the attraction of high-growth, early-stage technology companies as they mature and seek “soft-landing” locations.
“As people and businesses continue to move to Florida at a rapid pace, one thing is clear: Florida has the jobs, the talent, and the business-friendly environment that they are searching for,” said Holly Borgmann, Vice Chair of the EFI Board of Directors. “Governor DeSantis has worked diligently throughout his administration to invest in crucial economic development initiatives, and, as a result, Florida remains a global economic powerhouse.”