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The Florida Senate

2004 Florida Statutes

Section 288.9015, Florida Statutes 2004

288.9015  Enterprise Florida, Inc.; purpose; duties.--

(1)  Enterprise Florida, Inc., is the principal economic development organization for the state. It shall be the responsibility of Enterprise Florida, Inc., to provide leadership for business development in Florida by aggressively establishing a unified approach to Florida's efforts of international trade and reverse investment; by aggressively marketing the state as a probusiness location for potential new investment; and by aggressively assisting in the retention and expansion of existing businesses and the creation of new businesses. In support of this effort, Enterprise Florida, Inc., may develop and implement specific programs or strategies that address the creation, expansion, and retention of Florida business; the development of import and export trade; and the recruitment of worldwide business.

(2)  It shall be the responsibility of Enterprise Florida, Inc., to aggressively market Florida's rural communities, distressed urban communities, and enterprise zones as locations for potential new investment, to aggressively assist in the retention and expansion of existing businesses in these communities, and to aggressively assist these communities in the identification and development of new economic development opportunities for job creation, fully marketing state incentive programs such as the Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund Program under s. 288.106 and the Quick Action Closing Fund under s. 288.1088 in economically distressed areas.

(3)  It shall be the responsibility of Enterprise Florida, Inc., through the Workforce Development Board, to develop a comprehensive approach to workforce development that will result in better employment opportunities for the residents of this state. Such comprehensive approach must include:

(a)  Creating and maintaining a highly skilled workforce that is capable of responding to rapidly changing technology and diversified market opportunities.

(b)  Training, educating, and assisting target populations, such as those who are economically disadvantaged or who participate in the WAGES Program or otherwise receive public assistance to become independent, self-reliant, and self-sufficient. This approach must ensure the effective use of federal, state, local, and private resources in reducing the need for public assistance.

(4)  It shall be the responsibility of Enterprise Florida, Inc., to assess, on an ongoing basis, Florida's economic development competitiveness as measured against other business locations, to identify and regularly reevaluate Florida's economic development strengths and weaknesses, and to incorporate such information into the strategic planning process under s. 288.904

(5)  Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall incorporate the needs of small and minority businesses into the economic-development, international-trade and reverse-investment, and workforce-development responsibilities assigned to the organization by this section. Where practicable and consistent with the expertise of the Black Business Investment Board, Inc., Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall contract with the corporation for the delivery of services in fulfillment of the responsibilities of Enterprise Florida, Inc., relating to small and minority businesses.

(6)  Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall not endorse any candidate for any elected public office, nor shall it contribute moneys to the campaign of any such candidate.

(7)  As part of its business development and marketing responsibilities, Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall prepare a business guide and checklist that contains basic information on the federal, state, and local requirements for starting and operating a business in this state. The guide and checklist must describe how additional information can be obtained on any such requirements and shall include, to the extent feasible, the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of appropriate government agency representatives. The guide and checklist must also contain information useful to persons who may be starting a business for the first time, including, but not limited to, information on business structure, financing, and planning.

History.--s. 81, ch. 96-320; s. 29, ch. 97-278; s. 28, ch. 99-251; s. 14, ch. 2001-201; s. 10, ch. 2002-180.