Florida

Quick Facts

Florida Governor Rick Scott. (Photo: Meredyth Hope Hall)

Florida Governor Rick Scott. (Photo: Meredyth Hope Hall)

 

  • Capital: Tallahassee
  • Population (2012 Est.): 19,317,568
  • Largest Cities (2012): Jacksonville, 836,507; Miami, 413,892; Tampa, 347,645; Orlando, 249,562
  • Targeted Industries: IT, Logistics & Distribution, Financial/Professional Services, Life Sciences, Defense/Homeland Security, Aviation & Aerospace
  • GDP (All Industry 2012): $777.1 billion*

*Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Department of Commerce

Incentives

FINANCING 

High Impact Performance Incentive: A negotiated grant used to attract and grow major high impact facilities in Florida. Grants are provided to pre-approved applicants in certain high-impact sectors. In order to participate in the program, the project must: operate within designated high-impact portions of the following sectors—clean energy, corporate headquarters, financial services, life sciences, semiconductors, and transportation equipment manufacturing; create at least 50 new full-time equivalent jobs (if a R&D facility, create at least 25 new full-time equivalent jobs) in Florida in a three-year period; and make a cumulative investment in the state of at least $50 million (if a R&D facility, make a cumulative investment of at least $25 million) in a three-year period.

Economic Development Transportation Fund: Commonly referred to as the “Road Fund,” it is an incentive tool designed to alleviate transportation problems that adversely impact a specific company’s location or expansion decision. The award amount is based on the number of new and retained jobs and the eligible transportation project costs, up to $3 million. The award is made to the local government on behalf of a specific business for public transportation improvements.

Local Government Distressed Area Matching Grant Program (LDMG): Assists local governments in attracting and retaining targeted businesses. Applications are accepted from local governments/municipalities that plan on offering financial assistance to a specific business in the area. These targeted businesses are required to create at least 15 full-time jobs and the project must either be new to Florida; expanding operations in Florida; or leaving Florida unless it receives local and state government assistance. The amount awarded by the State will equal $50,000 or 50% of the local government’s assistance amount, whichever is less, and be provided following the commitment and payment of that assistance.

Florida offers increased incentive awards and lower wage qualification thresholds in its rural counties.

Rural Community Development Revolving Loan Fund: Program established within the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) to facilitate the use of existing federal, state and local financial resources to promote the economic viability of rural communities. The program provides long-term loans, loan guarantees, and loan loss reserves. Generally, the interest rate will not exceed 5% per annum; and the commitment fee for a guaranty will not exceed 3%. The Director of DEO makes the final decisions on projects including all terms and conditions of the loan. Eligible Projects/Expenditures:

  • Any public purpose project may be acquired, constructed, or improved with the assistance of the program.
  • Projects must result in the creation or retention of jobs, the maintenance of existing industry or economic activity, or the expansion or diversification of the local economic base.
  • Eligible uses of loan proceeds include: the purchase of equipment; the acquisition, construction or improvement of buildings; acquisition of land, water/sewer projects.

Rural Infrastructure Fund Grant: To facilitate the planning, preparing and financing of traditional economic development or nature-based tourism infrastructure projects that encourage job creation and capital investment in rural communities. The DEO may award up to 40% of total costs for catalyst site projects, and no more than 30% of total costs for projects in rural counties that are not located on designated catalyst sites. The maximum amount available per grant/project is limited to 25% of appropriated funds. The three types of grants available under the Rural Infrastructure are as follows:

  • Total Project Participation Grants – Up to 30% of the total infrastructure project costs related to specific job-creating opportunities.
  • Infrastructure Feasibility Grants – Funding for infrastructure feasibility studies, design and engineering or other planning and preparation activities that will help facilitate the location or expansion of specific job-creating opportunities. Grant awards are dependent on the number of jobs a business commits to create; project location; and the degree to which administrative and consultant expenses are minimized.
  • $50,000 (max.) for projects creating at least 100 jobs
  • $150,000 (max.) for projects creating at least 300 jobs
  • $300,000 (max.) for projects in a Rural Area of Critical Economic Concern (RACEC).

Please Note: Feasibility Grants may be used in conjunction with Total Project Participation Grants. The total of both grants may not exceed 30% of the total project cost.

  • Preclearance Review Grants – This grant is used to help local governments access resources available pursuant to section 403.973(18), F.S. (Expedited permitting; comprehensive plan amendments). Grants may be used for surveys, feasibility studies and other activities related to the identification and preclearance review of land use modifications. Available funding and the required match is dependent on the location of the project and the degree to which administrative and consultant expenses are minimized.
  • $75,000 (max.) with a 50% local match
  • $300,000 (max.) with a 33% local match for activities in a RACEC

Urban Incentives: Florida offers increased incentive awards and lower wage qualification thresholds for businesses locating in many urban core/inner city areas that are experiencing conditions affecting the economic viability of the community and hampering the self-sufficiency of the residents.

Brownfield Redevelopment Bonus Refund: Available to encourage Brownfield redevelopment and job creation. Approved applicants receive tax refunds of up to $2,500 for each job created. Florida offers incentives to businesses that locate in Brownfield sites—underutilized industrial or commercial sites with an executed Brownfield Site Rehabilitation Agreement (BSRA).

TAX INCENTIVES

Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund Incentive (QTI): Available for companies that create high wage jobs in targeted high value-added industries. This incentive includes refunds on corporate income, sales, ad valorem, intangible personal property, insurance premium, and certain other taxes. Pre-approved applicants who create jobs in Florida receive tax refunds of $3,000 per net new Florida full-time equivalent job created; $6,000 in an Enterprise Zone or Rural Community (county). For businesses paying 150% of the average annual wage, add $1,000 per job; for businesses paying 200% of the average annual salary, add $2,000 per job; businesses falling within a designated high impact sector or increasing exports of its goods through a seaport or airport in the state by at least 10% in value or tonnage in each year of receiving a QTI refund, add $2,000 per job; projects locating in a designated Brownfield area with an executed Brownfield Site Rehabilitation Agreement (Brownfield Bonus) can add $2,500 per job.

Qualified Defense and Space Contractor Tax Refund (QDSC): Florida is committed to preserving and growing its high technology employment base by giving Florida defense, homeland security, and space business contractors a competitive edge in consolidating contracts or subcontracts, acquiring new contracts, or converting contracts to commercial production. Pre-approved applicants creating or retaining jobs in Florida may receive tax refunds of $3,000 per net new Florida full-time equivalent job created or retained; $6,000 in an Enterprise Zone or rural county. For businesses paying 150% of the average annual wage, add $1,000 per job; for businesses paying 200% of the average annual salary, add $2,000 per job.

Capital Investment Tax Credit (CITC): Used to attract and grow capital-intensive industries in Florida. It is an annual credit, provided for up to 20 years, against the corporate income tax. Eligible projects are those in designated high-impact portions of the following sectors: clean energy, corporate headquarters, financial services, life sciences, semiconductors, and transportation equipment manufacturing. Projects must also create a minimum of 100 jobs and invest at least $25 million in eligible capital costs.

Enterprise Zone Incentives: An assortment of tax incentives to businesses that choose to create employment within an enterprise zone—a specific geographic area targeted for economic revitalization. These include a sales and use tax credit, tax refund for business machinery and equipment used in an enterprise zone, sales tax refund for building materials used in an Enterprise Zone and a sales tax exemption for electrical energy used in an enterprise zone.

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT

Quick Response Training Program (QRT): An employer-driven training program designed to assist new value-added businesses and provide existing Florida businesses the necessary training for expansion. A state educational facility—community college, area technical center, school district or university—is available to assist with application and program development or delivery. The educational facility will also serve as fiscal agent for the project. The company may use in-house training, outside vendor training programs or the local educational entity to provide training. Reimbursable training expenses include: instructors’/trainers’ wages, curriculum development, and textbooks/manuals.

Incumbent Worker Training Program (IWT): Provides training to currently employed workers to keep Florida’s workforce competitive in a global economy and to retain existing businesses. The program is available to all Florida businesses that have been in operation for at least one year prior to application and require skills upgrade training for existing employees. Priority is given to businesses in targeted industries, Enterprise Zones, HUB Zones, Inner City Distressed areas, Rural Counties and areas, and Brownfield areas.

State Listings

  • Enterprise Florida

    Gray Swoope
    President & CEO
    800 North Magnolia Avenue, Suite 1100
    Orlando, FL 32803
    P: 407-956-5600
    [email protected]
    www.eflorida.com

 

Utility Listings

  • Florida Power & Light

    Lynn Pitts
    Director, Economic Development
    700 Universe Blvd.
    Juno Beach, FL 33408
    P: 561-694-4272
    [email protected]
    www.poweringflorida.com
  • Gulf Power

    John Hutchinson
    Public Affairs & Economic Development Director
    One Energy Place
    Pensacola, FL 32520
    P: 850-444-6750
    [email protected]
    www.gulfpower.com/economic-development/

 

Regional Listings

  • Economic Development Council of Tallahassee/Leon County

    Sue Dick
    President & CEO
    300 East Park Avenue, P.O. Box 1639
    Tallahassee, FL 32302
    P: 850-521-3100
    [email protected]
    www.taledc.com
  • Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce/Council for Economic Outreach

    Susan Davenport
    Vice President of Economic Development
    300 East University Avenue
    Gainesville, FL 32602
    P: 352-378-7300, ext. 324
    [email protected]
    www.gainesvillechamber.com
  • Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce

    Robert J. Rohrlack, Jr., CEcD
    President & CEO
    201 North Franklin Street, Suite 201
    Tampa, FL 33602
    P: 813-276-9401
    [email protected]
    www.tampachamber.com
  • Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT)

    Alberto Cabrera
    Director/General Manager, Sales
    2831 Talleyrand Avenue, P.O. Box 3005
    Jacksonville, FL 32206-0005
    P: 904-357-3032
    [email protected]
    www.jaxport.com
  • JAXUSA Partnership

    Jerry Mallot
    President
    3 Independent Drive
    Jacksonville, FL 32202
    P: 904-366-6654
    [email protected]
    www.jaxusa.org
  • Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission

    Casey Barnes
    Vice President, Business Development
    301 E. Pine St., #900
    Orlando, FL 32801
    P: 407-902-2410, ext. 237
    Casey Barnes
    www.OrlandoEDC.com

 

County Listings

  • Bay County Economic Development Alliance

    Neal Wade
    Executive Director
    1003 Jenks Avenue
    Panama City, FL 32401
    P: 850-215-9965
    [email protected]
    www.bayeda.com
  • Business Development Board of Martin County, Inc.

    Tim Dougher
    Executive Director
    1002 SE Monterey Commons Boulevard, Suite 203
    Stuart, FL 34996
    P: 772-221-1380
    [email protected]
    www.bdbmc.org
  • Business Development Board of Palm Beach County, Inc.

    Gary Hines
    Senior Vice President, Administration
    310 Evernia Street
    West Palm Beach, FL 33401
    P: 561-835-1008, ext. 4111
    [email protected]
    www.bdb.org
  • Central Florida Development Council (CFDC)

    David Petr
    President & CEO
    2701 Lake Myrtle Park Road
    Auburndale, FL 33823
    P: 863-551-4760
    [email protected]
    www.cfdc.org
  • Charlotte County Economic Development Office (EDO)

    Thomas Patton
    Director
    18501 Murdock Circle, Suite 302
    Port Charlotte, FL 33948
    P: 941-764-4941
    [email protected]
    www.floridasinnovationcoast.com
  • Clay County Economic Development Council

    Bill Garrison
    Director
    1734 Kingsley Avenue
    Orange Park, FL 32073
    P: 904-264-2651
    [email protected]
    www.chooseclay.com
  • Columbia County Economic Development Department

    Jesse Quillen
    Executive Director
    259 NE Franklin Street, Suite 101
    Lake City, FL 32055
    P: 386-758-1033
    [email protected]
    www.ccfledd.com/
  • Dixie County Chamber of Commerce

    Ronnie Edmonds
    President
    P.O. Box 547
    Cross City, FL 32628
    P: 352-498-5454
    [email protected]
    www.dixiechamber.org/
  • Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast

    Greg Weiner, CEcD
    Senior Director, Business Development
    597 Haverty Court, Suite 40
    Rockledge, FL 32955
    P: 321-638-2000
    [email protected]
    www.spacecoastedc.org
  • Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota County

    Joan McGill
    Vice President of Business Development
    1680 Fruitville Road, Suite 402
    Sarasota, FL 34236
    P: 941-309-1200, ext. 107
    [email protected]
    www.edcsarasotacounty.com
  • Economic Development Council of Okaloosa County

    Debbie Bodenstine
    Vice President of Business Development & Public Relations
    1170 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Building 7, Suite 117
    Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547
    P: 800-995-7374
    [email protected]
    www.florida-edc.org
  • Economic Development Council of St. Lucie County

    Larry Pelton
    President
    1850 SW Fountainview Blvd., Suite 205
    Port St. Lucie, FL 34986
    P: 772-879-4144, ext. 10
    [email protected]
    www.youredc.com
  • Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance

    Bob Swindell
    President & CEO
    110 East Broward Boulevard, Suite 1990
    Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33301
    P: 954-627-0131
    [email protected]
    www.gflalliance.org
  • Greater Pensacola Chamber

    Scott Luth
    Senior VP of Economic Development
    117 West Garden Street
    Pensacola, FL 32502
    P: 850-438-4081, ext. 225
    [email protected]
    www.pensacolachamber.com
  • Gulf County Economic Development Council, Inc.

    Barry Sellers, IOM, EDI, CDI
    Executive Director
    406 Marina Drive
    Port St. Joe, FL 32456
    P: 850-227-1223
    [email protected]
    www.gulfcountyeda.org
  • Hamilton County Office of Economic Development

    Susan Ramsey
    Director
    1153 U.S. Highway 41 NW, Suite 4
    Jasper, FL 32052
    P: 386-792-6828
    hamiltonecodev@win[email protected]
    www.hamiltoncountyflorida.com
  • Hendry County Economic Development Council

    Gregg Gillman
    President
    644 South Main Street
    LaBelle, FL 33935
    P: 863-612-4912
    [email protected]
    www.hendryedc.com
  • Hernando County Office of Business Development

    Valerie Pianta
    Economic Developer
    15800 Flight Path Drive
    Brooksville, FL 34604
    P: 352-540-6400
    [email protected]
    www.hernandobusiness.com
  • Highlands County IDA/Economic Development Commission

    Stephen C. Weeks
    Executive Director
    One East Main Street
    Avon Park, FL 33825
    P: 863-453-2818
    [email protected]
    www.highlandsedc.com
  • Indian River County Chamber of Commerce

    Helene Caseltine, CEcD
    Economic Development Director
    1216 21st Street
    Vero Beach, FL 32960
    P: 772-567-3491, ext. 121
    [email protected]
    www.indianriverchamber.com
  • Jackson County Development Council

    William (Bill) Stanton
    Executive Director
    2840 Jefferson Street, P.O. Box 920
    Marianna, FL 32447
    P: 850-526-4005
    [email protected]
    www.jacksoncounty.com
  • Jefferson County Planning Department

    Bill Tellefsen
    Planning Official
    445 West Palmer Mill Road
    Monticello, FL 32344
    P: 850-342-0223
    [email protected]
    www.jeffersoncountyfl.gov
  • Manatee Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

    Sharon Hillstrom
    President & CEO
    222 10th Street W
    Bradenton, FL 34205
    P: 941-748-4842, ext. 140
    [email protected]
    www.manateeedc.com
  • Ocala/Marion County Economic Development Corporation

    Kevin T. Sheilley
    President & CEO
    310 SE 3rd Street
    Ocala, FL 34471
    P: 352-629-8051, ext. 105
    [email protected]
    www.ocalacep.com
  • Osceola County Economic Development Department

    Don Fisher
    County Manager
    Administration Building, 1 Courthouse Square
    Kissimmee, FL 34741
    P: 407-742-2385
    [email protected]
    www.chooseosceola.com
  • Pinellas County Economic Development Department

    Mike Meidel, CEcD
    Director
    13805 58th Street North, Suite 1-200
    Clearwater, FL 33760
    P: 727-464-7332
    [email protected]
    www.pced.org
  • Putnam County Chamber of Commerce

    Alex McCoy
    Vice President of Economic Development
    1100 Reid Street
    Palatka, FL 32177
    P: 386-328-1503
    [email protected]
    www.putnamcountychamber.com
  • Santa Rosa Economic Development Office

    Tina Stewart
    Business Development Manager
    6491 Caroline Street, Suite 4
    Milton, FL 32570-4592
    P: 850-623-0174
    [email protected]
    www.santarosaedo.com
  • Seminole County Economic Development

    Kenneth York
    Program Manager, Business Start-ups, Retention & Expansion
    1055 AAA Drive, Suite 148
    Heathrow, FL 32746
    P: 407-665-7135
    [email protected]
    www.businessinseminole.com
  • St. Johns County Economic Development Council

    Norman W. Gregory, CCIM
    Vice President of Economic Development
    One Riberia Street
    St. Augustine, FL 32084
    P: 904-829-5681, ext. 13
    [email protected]
    www.stjohnscountychamber.com
  • Sumter County Economic Development

    Bradley Arnold
    County Administrator
    7375 Powell Road
    Wildwood, FL 34785
    P: 352-689-4400
    [email protected]
    www.sumterbusiness.com
  • Team Volusia Economic Development Corporation

    Denise Mott
    Director of Business Development
    One Daytona Boulevard, Suite 240
    Daytona Beach, FL 32114
    P: 386-265-6332
    [email protected]
    www.teamvolusiaedc.com
  • The Beacon Council

    Frank R. Nero
    President & CEO
    80 SW 8th Street, Suite 2400
    Miami, FL 33130
    P: 305-579-1300
    [email protected]
    www.beaconcouncil.com
  • Volusia County Department of Economic Development

    Phil Ehlinger
    Director
    700 Catalina Drive, Suite 200
    Daytona Beach, FL 32114
    P: 386-248-8048
    #
    www.floridabusiness.org

 

City Listings

  • Apalachicola Bay Chamber of Commerce

    Anita Grove
    Executive Director
    122 Commerce Street
    Apalachicola Bay, FL 32320
    P: 850-653-9419
    [email protected]
    www.apalachicolabay.org
  • Cape Coral Economic Development Office

    Dana Brunett
    Economic Development Director
    1015 Cultural Park Boulevard
    Cape Coral, FL 33990
    P: 239-574-0444
    [email protected]
    www.capecoral.net
  • City of Leesburg

    Ken Thomas
    Economic Development Director
    600 Market Street
    Leesburg, FL 34748
    P: 352-728-9708
    [email protected]
    www.leesburgflorida.gov
  • City of North Port

    Allan Lane
    Economic Development Manager
    4970 City Hall Boulevard
    North Port, FL 34286
    P: 941-429-7001
    [email protected]
    www.cityofnorthport.com
  • Greater Marathon Chamber of Commerce

    Daniel Samess
    Chief Executive Officer
    12222 Overseas Highway
    Marathon, FL 33050
    P: 305-743-5417
    [email protected]
    www.floridakeysmarathon.com
  • Key West Chamber of Commerce

    Virginia Panico
    Executive Vice President
    510 Greene Street, 1st Floor
    Key West, FL 33040
    P: 305-294-2587
    [email protected]
    www.keywestchamber.org
  • Vision Council (Economic Development for Deep South Dade County)

    Dennis Daley
    President & CEO
    2804 NE 8th Street, P.O. Box 901732
    Homestead, FL 33030
    P: 305-247-7082
    [email protected]
    www.visioncouncil.com