On October 22-27, 2011, Broward County Mayor Suzanne Gunzburger joined Governor Rick Scott on the Sao Paulo, Brazil Mission. The Office of Economic and Small Business Development (OESBD), Port Everglades, and the Transportation Department (BCT) also participated in the mission. The major areas of focus were economic development, aviation, port development, communications, renewable energy, transportation and logistics. The entire report is available online.
Photo caption: Norman Taylor, OESBD Director; Phil Allen, Port Everglades Director; Governor Scott; Florida First Lady Ann Scott; Chris Walton, Transportation Director; Mayor Gunzburger; Deborah Wilkinson, OESBD Economic Development Manager; and David Armstrong, Broward College President. Photo courtesy of Enterprise Florida.
The OESBD along with the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance (GFLA) are collaborating to have Broward County named as a Six Pillars Community by the Florida Chamber of Commerce. A county or region that adopts the Chamber’s Six Pillars of Florida’s Future Economy - which serve as a visioning platform for advancing the state’s economic future - as the basis for developing and communicating local strategic plans are eligible to be designated as a Six Pillars Community. Part of the adoption process involves revisiting the VisionBroward goals and objectives. As a Six Pillars Community, Broward would join Jackson, Columbia and other counties in contributing to The Florida Scorecard for economic development under the “Six Pillars” concept. Largely due to VisionBroward and the Broward County Targeted Industries Study, Broward County is postured to be a Six Pillars Community by April 2012. Please contact OESBD or GFLA for more information on how to get involved. To learn more about the Six Pillars Strategic Plan, visit the Florida Chamber Foundation website.
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The Broward Economic Development Partnership, which is comprised of OESBD, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, and local municipalities through coordinated efforts, produced the following outcomes for FY 2011:
• Facilitated the creation of 1,087 new jobs
• Assisted in retaining 3,020 jobs
• Obtained $75,275,000 in direct capital investment
The creation of 1,087 new jobs generated new wages in Broward County of at least $52,042,299. Direct capital investment of $75,275,000 generated an economic impact in Broward County totaling more than $188 million.
On December 14, 2010, Broward County entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the South Florida Manufacturer’s Association (SFMA). The purpose of the MOA is to coordinate efforts of both entities to further nurture Broward County’s manufacturing industry through fostered business growth, export assistance, and bridge gaps in workforce that support the industry. Since its approval by the Board of County Commissioners, the Office of Economic and Small Business Development (OESBD) and the SFMA, have reached out to approximately 20 manufacturing companies. Currently five companies are being provided with relocation, expansion, foreign-trade zone, and export assistance. As a result, Broward County is anticipating approximately $32 million in capital investment and 47 new jobs by the end of 2012 with approximately 46 jobs retained. The OESBD is currently working with the SFMA on hosting an export seminar developed for manufacturers. The OESBD also resides on the Florida Chamber of Commerce Manufacturing Advisory Board and works closely with the Manufacturers Association of Florida in efforts to bring more grants for exporting opportunities to local manufacturers.
Doubling exports through the Obama Initiative means growing Broward County manufacturers through technical assistance and successful matchmaking efforts with targeted international markets. Grants are available to new exporters for trade shows and Gold Key Services through the State of Florida and the U.S. Department of Commerce. Please contact the OESBD International Trade Desk for more information.
DID YOU KNOW…
New 2012 wage information by County and Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) has been released. These new figures will apply for all incentive applications submitted as of January 1, 2012. All companies that anticipate applying for incentives should consider this new information to ensure applications are not rejected or delayed upon submission.
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Governor Rick Scott recently unveiled his 2012 Job Creation and Economic Growth Agenda. The plan focuses on removing the barriers to beginning, relocating and growing a business in Florida. The priorities for the year are:
- Streamlining business permitting and eliminating burdensome rules and regulations;
- Providing tax relief and reform for Florida’s working families and businesses;
- Reforming Florida’s unemployment system to create a reemployment system;
- Restoring accountability and credibility to Florida's Workforce Boards:
- Prioritizing vital transportation projects to facilitate economic development opportunities;
- Offering stability to Florida businesses by balancing the budget without raising taxes; and
- Prioritizing science, technology, engineering and mathematics in education.
The full version of the agenda can be accessed on the new Florida Department of Economic Opportunity website.
The Florida Legislature recently launched “Your Voice,” an online tool to survey business owners and stakeholders on the state’s rules and regulations for businesses. The survey was developed as part of ongoing efforts in researching how rules may hinder productivity and job growth, and to improve Florida’s business climate by compiling information to be used to enhance or revise existing rules. The survey results and feedback collected will inform members of the House Rulemaking and Regulations Subcommittee and the Senate Committee on Governmental Oversight and Accountability and will be considered for future legislation. Data may also be used to adopt rules and regulations to protect the health, safety and welfare of residents. The “Your Voice” survey can be completed online.
On November 21, 2011, President Obama signed H.R 674, which includes the 3% Withholding Repeal and Job Creation Act and the VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011, into law. This legislation repealed a three percent withholding tax requirement on certain payments to government contractors by federal, state and local government entities. This tax, enacted in 2005 with the passing of the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act and scheduled to go into effect in 2013, could have been problematic for private firms with government contracts - particularly small businesses - across the country because it was expected to negatively impact their profit margins.
“Our small businesses, which are already trying to keep a positive cash flow, can breathe a sigh of relief,” stated County Administrator Bertha Henry. “This legislation would have required us to withhold up to 3% and remit to the federal government.”
The passing of this legislation is clearly a win-win victory for government and small businesses alike. The bill avoids a decrease in cash flow to government contractors, which allows retention of funds that can be used to pay suppliers and create jobs. Businesses will also benefit from the new Returning Heroes and Wounded Warriors Tax Credits, signed on the same day as part of the American Jobs Act initiative, which provides credit for firms that hire unemployed service members now in the civilian workforce.
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Deborah Wilkinson, OESBD Chief Development Officer, has agreed to accept the World Trade Center Miami International Women’s Day Award 2012 in recognition of her contributions to international business and in honor of the role women play in furthering Florida’s strategic position as the “Trade and Logistics Capital of the Americas”. The award is expected to be presented to Wilkinson during the annual awards ceremony on International Women’s Day - March 8, 2012 - in honor of the United Nations’ annual commemoration highlighting global women’s issues and achievements. Past award recipients include, Glenda Hood, Former Florida Secretary of State; Lisa Landy, first president of the Organization of Women in International Trade (OWIT); and Dunia Miranda-Mauri, Trade Commissioner, Canada.
The Broward County Office of Economic and Small Business Development announces the upcoming 2012 Export Readiness Seminar. This new installment of the three-part series will feature a new location, a new speaker and a new partner.
For 2012, the series will be presented in Coconut Creek in coordination with Broward College, North Campus. Along with a new venue, the OESBD welcomes the Greater Pompano Beach Chamber of Commerce as its newest collaborator and Deborah Stern, Attorney at Law, Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A., as its newest speaker on U.S. Regulations and Abroad.
The seminar series educates local companies on how to begin exporting; which includes determining their readiness to export, developing a strategic marketing plan, and understanding regulations of both the United States and the receiving country. Participants completing each of the three seminars are awarded with a certificate of attendance presented by the Broward College Institute for Economic Development. Each of the 2011 seminars received an average of 30 participants and nearly 60 percent of the seminar participants received certificates - two of whom are in the beginning stages of the export process with assistance from the OESBD.
The 2012 Export Readiness Seminar series will be held on three consecutive Wednesdays in February at Broward College, North Campus, 1000 Coconut Creek Boulevard, Coconut Creek in Building 46, Room 152. The sessions will run from 9:30AM – 11:30AM with on-site registration starting at 9:00AM. The seminar schedule is as follows:
- February 8, 2011
- February 15, 2011
- February 22, 2011
For more information, contact the OESBD by phone at 954-357-6400 or email.
County Provides Resources for Businesses to Go Green
Broward County has launched a new Green Business website with resources to help local businesses save money, increase profit, improve air quality and support climate protection. Businesses can find information on best practices and useful strategies to reduce their carbon footprint by conserving water and electricity, reducing waste and recycling, and making smart transportation choices. For additional information, visit www.broward.org/gogreen and click on "Business".
The Technological Research and Development Authority (TRDA) Business Innovation Center and Space Florida are accepting applications to participate in the 2012 Igniting Innovation (i2) Capital Accelerator program and an opportunity to compete for a $100,000 grant award. Florida-based technology companies that meet the established criteria, including 80 percent of employees in the state and potential for revenue growth within five years, are eligible to apply for this intense three-month, statewide program focused on mentoring and financing promising technology startups in Florida to help create high wage, innovation-based jobs. Interested companies are welcome to attend the first session which will kick off on January 5, 2012 at the TRDA Innovation Center in Melbourne, Florida. Applications are due by December 31, 2011 and selections will be announced no later than January 3, 2012. There is no cost to apply; however a participation fee will apply for all selected companies. For more information on the i2 program, visit www.i2Florida.com.
In This Issue
Broward County Participates in Governor’s Trade Mission to Sao Paulo, Brazil
Broward County to Become a “Six Pillars Community”
OESBD Submits FY 2011 Annual Report Figures
Growing Broward County’s Manufacturing Industry
DID YOU KNOW…
The Average Florida County and MSA Wages have changed for 2012?
STATE & NATIONAL NEWS
Governor Scott Announces 2012 Job and Economic Growth Initiatives
“Your Voice” Survey Aims to Spur Business-Friendly Regulation Reforms
President Obama Signs Legislation to Repeal 3% Withholding Tax
ANNOUNCEMENTS & UPCOMING EVENTS
Wilkinson to Receive International Women’s Day Award 2012
OESBD Announces 2012 Export Readiness Seminar Series
County Provides Resources for Businesses to Go Green
The i2 Accelerator Program Opens 2012 with a Bang for Businesses
Pompano to Host House Subcommittee