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FL Legislature Passes Jobs Bill

May 05, 2010

Florida lawmakers last week approved SB 1752, a package of economic development incentives for industry sectors, including aerospace and small business, to promote immediate job creation and long-term economic growth. Funding for research commercialization matching grants and space industry business development are among the new incentives. The bill carries a $200 million price tag spread over the next three years, reports the Associated Press.

Funding and incentives are spread across the state's economic development programs, small business and space industry sectors, rural communities and unemployment, and the film and entertainment industry. Tech-based economic development components are focused mainly within the small business assistance and space industry development priority areas. The bill provides $11.9 million in assistance to small businesses, including:

  • $3 million for Research Commercialization Matching grants administered by the Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research to assist small businesses seeking federal R&D funding;
  • $2 million for State University Research Commercialization Assistance grants to increase commercialization of products and technologies emerging from research at Florida's universities; and,
  • $2 million to expand the Governor's Economic Gardening Pilot Program, which identifies companies with fewer than 50 employees and helps them expand by offering services such as market information and leadership development.

The bill also provides $19.8 million to Space Florida to help diversify and expand commercial aerospace, including:

  • $10 million for space industry business development, infrastructure and business financing;
  • $3.6 million for space infrastructure assistance to address infrastructure projects to assist in development of Florida's aerospace industry and management of state-of-the-art facilities for space businesses;
  • $3.2 million for workforce development assistance through a partnership among state and local agencies, academic institutions and space businesses, and by providing access to aerospace facilities and technologies;
  • $3 million for expanded growth and recruitment of new space-based enterprises; and
  • A new tax credit incentive program to encourage capital investment and job creation in manufacturing and spaceport activities.

Another $22 million will support the state's current economic development funds aimed at attracting and retaining businesses. This includes $15 million for the Quick Action Closing Fund, $4 million for Defense Infrastructure Grants, and $3 million for local government matching grants.

The bill, which is supported by Gov. Charlie Crist, awaits his anticipated signature. A press release outlining the Jobs Bill is available at: http://www.flgov.com/release/11557.