State organizations support economic stimulus for small businesses bill
The National Coalition for Capital, along with the Associated Industries of Florida, Enterprise Florida, Florida Chamber of Commerce and Florida League of Cities, applauds Governor Charlie Crist for signing into law CS/CS/HB 485, the Florida New Markets Development Program – Fast Track Economic Stimulus for Small Businesses. The law, which unanimously passed the House and Senate during the 2009 Session, parallels the highly successful Federal New Markets Program that Congress recently expanded to $26 billion as a part of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act.
“This new law will bring desperately-needed capital to businesses that are looking to grow and add more value to their communities through jobs and tax base expansion,” said Ben Dupuy, executive director of the National Coalition for Capital. “Our organization applauds Governor Crist for seeing the importance of signing this legislation into law during these very difficult economic times when many businesses are struggling to find funding. We also thank our bill sponsors, Representative Will Weatherford (R-Wesley Chapel) and Senator Mike Fasano (R-New Port Richey), for their effort this Session, as this day would not have been possible without them.”
“We thank Governor Crist for recognizing this legislation will positively impact the current economic climate in our state,” said Barney Bishop, president and chief executive officer of Associated Industries of Florida. “We conducted a study where 58 percent of Floridians said that they want the government to act aggressively to improve the economy. This new law is a step in the right direction for Florida’s economy, and taxpayers agree that it is important to sustain and create new jobs across the Sunshine State.”
“Access to capital is vital for Florida businesses to grow our economy,” said Mark Wilson, president and chief executive officer of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. “By signing this legislation into law, Florida now has the foundation to create high-paying jobs and foster vibrant communities for years to come.”
“The New Markets Development Program will assure that low-income communities capture the opportunities for sustainability through much-needed capital investments,” said Desinda Carper, senior legislative advocate for the Florida League of Cities. “Through Governor Crist’s expedient enactment of this legislation, an immediate solution to the current challenges within these communities has now been met, and these communities now have the opportunity to build upon the current job market and raise household incomes.”
“The New Market Tax Credit program brings more private capital to Florida’s underserved communities,” says Louis Laubscher, chief operating officer of Enterprise Florida. “Enterprise Florida has sponsored a federally-approved Community Development Entity that has assembled a list of projects, such as the expansion/renovation of Florida Nexus Park in Fort Pierce, which will create about 500 jobs in Manufacturing, R&D and sales and support services for Ophthalmic and emerging bio-science related operations. These projects will be feasible with the addition of financing made possible with New Markets Tax Credits.”
Not only will CS/CS/HB 485 provide $250 million in private sector investment in low-income communities within 12 months; according to a study conducted by the Florida-based Washington Economics Group (WEG), the law will also provide the following to the State of Florida over the seven-year life of the program:
- Create $30 million in state tax revenue before the first tax credits are utilized. By year 2016, the program will generate $76 million in state tax revenues.
- Create on average more than 4,200 new jobs per year.
- Create positive fiscal impacts to local governments, creating $11.2 million in local government revenue that will increase between $2 million and $4 million per year to $31.5 million by 2016.
“Any program that helps create this number of jobs, within this time period, is a serious boost to Florida’s economy,” said Dr. Tony Villamil, principal advisor of WEG and former U.S. Undersecretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs.
According to a recent poll conducted by McLaughlin & Associates, 71 percent of Floridians favored implementing a state-level program to encourage investment in small businesses in Florida’s low-income communities. As according to recent unemployment numbers from the Agency for Workforce Innovation, there are currently 893,000 Floridians out of work, representing a 9.7 percent unemployment rate – the highest since 1975.
Statewide New Markets legislation has been used to enhance available funds through the award-winning Federal program, administered through the Treasury Department’s Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Fund. The Treasury Department’s CDFI Fund reports that the nearly 400 community development organizations that have been awarded tax credits have financed close to 2,000 businesses in low-income communities, created tens of thousands of jobs and raised more than $12.6 billion in equity. Missouri, Louisiana, Mississippi and Illinois are among the states that have passed state-level New Markets legislation. Relying on extensive federal oversight by two arms of the Treasury Department allows states to maximize their participation without having to expand state bureaucracies. While Florida has benefited from the federal program, it currently ranks a disappointing 25th in the country, according to a General Accounting Office report.
The National Coalition for Capital (NCC) is a non-profit, nationwide coalition of leaders supporting economic development and job creation through long-term access to capital for entrepreneurs and emerging companies. To learn more about the NCC, please visit www.nationalcoalitionforcapital.org.
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