This Legislative Priorities Agenda represents the Florida Economic Development Council’s (FEDC) positions on economic development issues, especially as they relate to the state’s annual legislative session. This document is intended to guide the FEDC Board, members and statewide stakeholders with respect to specific legislative priorities and legislation. It is subject to modification as new legislation is introduced.
- Economic Development is crucial for a healthy and vibrant Florida. In order to be successful we must continue to increase our State’s ability to Attract, Retain and Grow Jobs and provide quality infrastructure and the tools necessary for economic development. FEDC supports the budget requests by key economic and workforce development stakeholders such as Enterprise Florida, Workforce Florida, the Department of Economic Opportunity Space Florida and other business advocates
- Protect our Ability to Recruit and Retain Companies in Rural Areas. Support recommendations that came out of the Rural Study recommendations including the following changes:
- Renaming the Rural Area of Critical Economic Concern to “Rural Areas of Opportunity
- Providing targeted industry waivers in RACEC regions and specified targeted industries for each region
- Increase award amounts of the rural jobs tax credit ($2,000 in rural county / $5,000 in RACEC region)
- Increase award amounts of the rural jobs tax credit to be more competitive with competing states ($2,000 in rural county/ $5,000 in RACEC region) and add retail (SIC Codes 52-57 and 59- to match with urban).
- Remove award amount restriction on QTI awards when local match is waived
- Allow each rural/RACEC county to be considered an Enterprise Zone
- Support Florida’s Businesses. FEDC supports efforts to create an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem for attracting, retaining and growing jobs in Florida and thus supports funding state measures to increase access to capital needed for growth for Florida small businesses.
- Support the GrowFL statewide program at the University of Central Florida, which assists second stage growth companies in Florida with strategic research and peer to peer learning programs. These efforts focus on helping small businesses expand and create jobs in Florida. GrowFL delivers its programs and services through a variety of local public and private sector entrepreneurial support organizations, such as economic development, chambers, incubators, trade associations, etc. GrowFL programs provides a necessary tool for Florida’s businesses and support Florida’s overall economic development strategy.
- Export assistance for small business. FEDC supports Enterprise Florida and the Florida SBDC Network partner to assist qualified Florida “new-to-export” manufacturers and service industry small and medium-sized businesses to identify overseas growth strategies through the development of customized Export Marketing Plans.
Legislative Support Items
- Support for a continual carry forward of (SEED) funds and general revenue for a more consistent funding structure for economic development projects.
- Support the creation of a state matching program, up to $3 million, for Florida’s Business Brand funding.
- Support for a provision of carry-forward and transferable/sellable credits for the Qualified Targeted Industry (QTI) Tax Refund Incentive.
- Support for changes to the Capital Investment Tax Credit (CITC) incentive which will increase its value to companies looking to make significant capital investment in Florida.
- Support for adding a 14 day timeline to the approval process for the Legislative Budget Commission for Quick Action Closing Fung recommendations over $5 million.
- Support for the reauthorization of the Enterprise zone with recommended changes.
- Support the funding of Enterprise Florida operations per the Governor’s recommendation.
- Support for funding Quick Response Training (QRT) at $12M.
- Support for funding Space Florida operations per the Governor’s recommendation.
- Support for Advanced Manufacturing Matching Research Grant program with public universities patterned after the highly successful Florida High Tech Corridor Council (FHTCC) program.
- Support for Enterprise Florida Export Assistance Program for small business.
- Support for the gradual phase out of the sales tax on commercial real estate property.