Saturday, March 2, 2013

Hard at work for Florida?

Life in the real world is full of contradictions and serendipity.  Hard at work for Florida:
For the second year, Enterprise Florida, Inc. (EFI) is spending time addressing misrepresentations by Integrity Florida, taking EFI away from its mission of working with businesses to relocate to or expand in Florida, thereby creating jobs for families and investment in our communities ("Time for Enterprise Florida to answer some questions," Other Views, Feb. 21).
You can find all the facts in our response at
What is more important is the true story of economic development in Florida over the past two years and why it is working.
Let's break down some of what Enterprise Florida does to help the state's economy.
One aspect of Enterprise Florida's mission is the cultivation of competitive job-creation projects — projects that are considering multiple locations for new growth or expansion. Working with our economic development partners in all 67 counties, we assist businesses looking to bring new investment to the state and those that plan to expand but may be considering options outside Florida.
Although incentives are an important part of the economic development toolkit, they are in no way the only tool. Incentives are often needed to sway a company's decision — at the end of the negotiation process — toward one location when other factors such as workforce, education, infrastructure and business climate are equal.
The results of Florida's use of incentives are clear.
Emphasis mine. I'll say they are clear.  Also in the Trib today, Novation closes highly touted Tampa subsidiary.
A company that was the toast of Florida's economic leaders last summer suddenly closed one of its Tampa subsidiaries this week.
In September, the chief executive of Novation Cos. of Kansas City, Mo., spoke to Gov. Rick Scott and business recruiting agency Enterprise Florida at a meeting in St. Pete Beach. Chief Executive Officer Steve Haslam delighted the crowd with his story of how Novation quickly had grown to 200 people in Tampa.
Records indicate state and local governments have awarded StreetLinks [another Novation company at least $450,000 in incentives to train and hire workers. StreetLinks hasn't received all that money yet because it hasn't created all the jobs it has promised.
Emphasis mine.  The results of Florida's use of incentives are clear. 

Public-private partnerships are a dangerous slope.  They are not using your money.  The vast majority of Enterprise Florida funding comes from various State of Florida sources. They are not accountable for the failures.  They are susceptible to politics and relationships rather than the market and a sound business plan.  Public-private partnerships turn to cronyism if not held strictly accountable for measurable results and open disclosure of decisions and funding.  We at The Eye don't expect perfection.  There are some places for public-private partnership. But we do demand accountability.

You just can't make this stuff up. 

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