Tax incentives to attract new businesses to Florida are one way out of the recession. But what about small businesses already here and poised to grow with a little guidance?
The Florida Economic Gardening Institute's GrowFL program (growfl.com) has helped dozens of small companies this year. The pilot program began last year with $1.5 million from the Legislature. It targets companies that had revenue and employment growth in three of the past five years and employ from 10 to 50 workers, generating $1 million to $25 million annually.
As many as 5,000 Florida firms would qualify for this promising program, which comes at a critical economic juncture. The Legislature was right to fund it again.
Fifty companies -- including six in Broward and four in Miami-Dade -- have enrolled in GrowFL through March, and 40 of them created 35 new jobs, with 190 more jobs expected soon. They are in sectors that are crucial for Florida to diversify its workforce and tax base away from tourism and construction. Among them: Firms dealing in bio-technology, software development, energy and professional, technical or other services.
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