By Ed Felton
From the January/February 2016 Issue
Gov. Rick Scott recently toured Grimaldi Candies in Rockledge, FL as part of his “1 Million Miles for 1 Million Jobs” bus tour across Florida. Scott celebrated the success of job creation in the Sunshine State. He also highlighted the need to cut $1 billion in taxes, and to create a new, $250-million Florida Enterprise Fund.
“Today we are celebrating our manufacturing community; a key driver of both Florida and the Space Coast’s economy. Gov. Scott has paved the way for companies to grow in Florida and further diversify our economy.” said Lynda Weatherman, president & CEO, Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast, who welcomed the governor. “Gov. Scott’s leadership in prioritizing job creation through the development of a pro-business environment is commendable.”
During the bus tour, Paragon Plastics endorsed Gov. Scott’s tax-cut proposal and the Enterprise Florida Fund, noting the pro-business environment created in Florida during recent years influenced them to expand their company.
“We have just started building our new facility in Titusville, which is breaking ground as we speak,” commented Amy Powell, administrative director. “Both the sales tax exemption and a dedicated incentive fund are definite requirements to achieve job growth in Florida.”
Ken Brace, president, Rapid Prototyping Services, added: “My company saved $42,000, which enabled me to reduce the cost of my products and services. As a result, my customers, who are also manufacturers, are saving thousands of dollars in production costs. The manufacturing sales tax exemption is working and should become a permanent exemption.”
Gov. Scott’s tour included stops in Green Cove Springs, The Villages, Sarasota and Bonita Springs.
Enterprise Florida, Inc. voted unanimously at its quarterly Board of Directors meeting in January to support Gov. Scott’s proposals for Enterprise Florida, including the creation of the $250-million Florida Enterprise Fund. Additionally, Enterprise Florida’s new Marketing Plan, Florida: The Future is Here, was unveiled. The plan will promote Florida as the future for business and job creation.
“I applaud the Enterprise Florida Board’s unanimous vote in support of the $250 million dedicated Florida Enterprise Fund, which is crucial to further diversifying our economy and ensuring that Florida can outcompete other locations, such as Texas, for job creation projects. Businesses and jobs will not move to Florida without certainty from the state that this fund will be available, which is why I look forward to working with the Legislature to ensure its full creation. We want Florida to become FIRST for jobs and will continue to work each day in order to meet that goal,” Gov. Scott said.
Bill Johnson, President & CEO of Enterprise Florida said, “I’m proud that our board voted unanimously to support the $250-million Florida Enterprise Fund. It is an exciting time at Enterprise Florida, and we will keep working to become the global leader for business.”
Enterprise Florida’s new marketing plan was presented by Chief Marketing Officer Joe Hice and Board Member Eric Silagy, President/CEO of Florida Power & Light.
“I’m very proud of the new marketing plan. The new campaign will promote Florida as the future for business, innovation and job creation by highlighting the boundless opportunities for growth in our state. I’d like to thank all of the professionals on Team Florida for their efforts as we continue to show why Florida is the number one destination for business,” Silagy said.
As part of the new Florida: The Future is Here marketing plan, Enterprise Florida has launched the “Boundless” campaign. The overarching theme behind Boundless is that Florida is home to the resources and attitudes that businesses need to flourish. Through imagery of Florida’s key industries, the Boundless campaign brings just a few of the “infinite” opportunities to the forefront. Other campaign design elements reflect boundless optimism, potential, freedom and possibility.
TQL IS EXPANDING IN MIAMI
Total Quality Logistics (TQL), one of the largest freight-brokerage firms in the country, will be expanding in Miami and creating 75 jobs over the next three years. The expansion will also create a capital investment of approximately $600,000 in Miami-Dade County. This is the company’s sixth location in the Sunshine State, joining existing operations in Jacksonville, Daytona Beach, Orlando, Tampa Bay and Fort Lauderdale.
Governor Scott said, “TQL has created hundreds of jobs across the state, and we are excited to announce their expansion in Miami today. Growing businesses like TQL mean more opportunities for Floridians to succeed and provide for their families. By cutting $1 billion in taxes and creating the new $250 million Florida Enterprise Fund this year, we will keep Florida on track to becoming first for jobs.”
The Miami expansion is in addition to the recent announcement that TQL will add 100 jobs as a part of the Daytona Beach expansion and 200 jobs as a part of their new carrier services division in Tampa. The company opened its first Florida location in 2010 and currently employs nearly 450 Floridians across the state. They have been recognized numerous times as a top employer both statewide and by publications in each city where it operates.
“We’re excited to continue to expand in Florida,” said TQL President Kerry Byrne. “Opening in a world-class city like Miami helps attract the kind of highly motivated employees who will allow us to grow our market share and maintain our leadership role in the third-party logistics business.”
The TQL expansion was made possible through partnerships between Enterprise Florida, Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Miami-Dade County, and the Beacon Council.
Bill Johnson, Enterprise Florida President and CEO said, “Florida is the #1 state for transportation infrastructure in the country, making the Sunshine State the ideal location for logistics and distribution companies. We thank TQL for their continued commitment to Florida and congratulate them for the expansion of their logistics operation in Miami and their creation of 75 new jobs for Florida families.”
Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Executive Director Cissy Proctor said, “TQL is taking advantage of all that Florida has to offer to grow its thriving business. TQL’s expanding infrastructure across the Sunshine State is a testament to Florida’s business-friendly climate and skilled workforce.”
“I congratulate and welcome TQL to Miami-Dade County,” Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez said. “This expansion is further evidence of how investments in PortMiami such as the Deep Dredge Project and the construction of the Tunnel create jobs for our 2.6 million residents and support our local businesses.”
“One in five jobs in Miami-Dade County is in Trade & Logistics,” The Beacon Council President & CEO Larry K. Williams said. “With the Panama Canal expansion this year, we expect those numbers to grow as more companies take advantage of the opportunities in Miami.”
The Miami office will open with a founding team of five current employees and plans to bring on at least four people in its first hiring class prior to opening. TQL plans to bring 75 jobs to the city over the next three years. The office, located in Museum Tower at 150 West Flagler Street, Suite 1450, Miami, FL 33130, is scheduled to open for business in March.
RADISE INTERNATIONAL ADDS JOBS
RADISE International, a Florida-based small business that provides engineering and IT services, will expand its operations in Palm Beach County and create 60 jobs. The expansion will also include a capital investment of $2 million into the community.
Gov. Rick Scot hailed the expansion. “Small businesses like RADISE International have an incredible impact in their communities, and I am excited to announce the creation of 60 new jobs for families in Riviera Beach,” Scott said. “We want Florida to be the small business capital of the world, which is why we are working to cut $1 billion in taxes and create the new $250 million Florida Enterprise Fund this year.”
Kumar Allady, President of RADISE International, said, “Creating new, high-paying, high-tech jobs for Florida is essential to the future economic growth of the state. Our new Smart Structures technology will be a key contributor to this strategic initiative. We look forward to many more years of success here in Florida.”
RADISE International, which was founded in 1997 by Kumar and Vishala Allady, is headquartered in Riviera Beach. With the recent acquisition of Smart Structures, RADISE will expand its footprint within U.S. and globally. RADISE has been awarded and recognized by Grow Florida, the South Florida Business Journal and the Palm Beach County Conference & Expo. RADISE has also worked closely with Florida Atlantic University on several projects, such as funding a research project for the Department of Civil Engineering and sponsoring a Ph.D. student. The expansion was made possible through partnerships between Enterprise Florida, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County.