Enterprise Florida

Here’s looking at you, Enterprise Florida!

Of all the gin joints in all the the towns in all the world, Enterprise Florida, Inc., is headed to Casablanca to pimp the Sunshine State to Moroccan businesses and investors this spring.

posterAccording to a press release issued by the public-private agency this morning, EFI will lead a delegation of small and mid-sized Florida manufacturers and services providers to Morocco from April 14-18. Registration for the trip closes on Feb. 8.

From the release:

“Morocco has become a top destination for foreign investments and trade,” said Manny Mencia, senior vice president of international trade and development for EFI. “Morocco has increased investment in its port, transportation, and industrial infrastructure to position itself as a center for business throughout Africa. Florida companies in industries like energy, infrastructure, agricultural equipment, and healthcare can find great new opportunities there.”

Morocco, home to 35 million people, is the sixth-largest economy in Africa, according to EFI, and is considered the “gateway to sub-Sarahan Africa.”

For interested businesses, $2,300 will buy “one-on-one Gold Key meetings with Moroccan companies interested in their product line, coordinated by the U.S. Commercial Service (USCS).” We’re guessing fezes likely are not included.

Gold Key participation will be limited to Florida manufacturers and professional service companies that best meet the participation criteria. Participants will be selected on a first-come, first-served basis. This option is limited to 12 Florida companies.


Biz recruitment spending: It’s all relative

Florida business recruitment leaders are trying to put together benchmarks to compare the state’s spending against competitors.

Members of the Enterprise Florida’s Business Development Committee on Monday said they intend to put together a list of staffing and spending in other states.

The will give Florida’s public-private agency the chance to see where it stands against North Carolina, Georgia, Texas, South Carolina, Tennessee and Alabama — states that have most often provided recruitment competition.

One committee member joked that “If you want to feel good, add Illinois.”

New York, meanwhile, was ruled out because of a spending disparity between the states.

As part of a March 13, 2017 study looking to make economic development more transparent in the Empire State, the Citizens Budget Commission noted that state and local governments in New York spend $8.6 billion annually through direct spending and tax expenditures.

Back in the Sunshine State, the state-by-state spending comparisons come as Enterprise Florida has been forced by state legislators to reduce its ability to offer direct business incentives to individual companies in favor of the “Florida Jobs Growth Grant Fund.”

The fund set up an $85 million pool of money for regional infrastructure and job-training programs to help entice businesses to Florida, and came after major infighting between Florida Gov. Rick Scott and fellow Republican House Speaker Richard Corcoran, who called the tax incentives to lure businesses to the state “corporate welfare.”

By Jim Turner.