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All (Economic Development) Eyes on Tallahassee

Florida Senate, House compromise on the budget — and significantly cut Governor Scott’s economic development priorities

Senate President Joe Negron and House Speaker Richard Corcoran hammered out the framework of a budget deal this week that appears to be far short of Governor Rick Scott’s requested funding for Enterprise Florida and cuts funding to 21 corporate incentive programs. Additionally, the compromise sets aside only $25 million for Visit Florida — $51 million less than last year.

Two professional Site Selectors recently weighed in on the funding debate, issuing a warning that the state of Florida will suffer a loss of jobs and financial investments if Enterprise Florida is compromised or eliminated. Read about their comments here.

We don’t yet know what the final outcome of the joint-chamber budget conference will be, but there are significant concerns about the impact of these proposed cuts to proven economic development and tourism programs. If you would like to contact members of the Southwest Florida Legislative Delegation to voice your opinion, Florida Gulf Coast University offers contact information here.

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Recently, your Economic Development Alliance met with the German Consulate to discuss opportunities within our region to enable German companies to expand in the U.S. The Consulate provided valuable insight into transition and cultural considerations for German companies as we continue our outreach efforts with that country’s growing businesses.

Your Economic Development Alliance also recently participated in relationship-building efforts with French companies visiting Southwest Florida to explore innovative entrepreneurial and partnership opportunities.

These types of international contacts, coupled with our robust efforts among U.S.-based Site Selectors, are helping to establish Southwest Florida as a vibrant, business-friendly region for our friends across the country — and across the Pond.

As always, feel free to contact the Southwest Florida Economic Development Alliance with your questions and suggestions.