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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Florida Job Creation Incentives: FAIL!

Recent events in Palm Coast, Flagler County landscape on the "Economic Development" front included:
  • An Economic Development Summit FinalĂ© --postponed twice, but did it actually take place with the promised action-plan??
  • Death/Dissolution of Enterprise Flagler.
  • The establishment of UCF and City of Palm Coast-backed Palm Coast Business Assistance Center.
  • Recent plan to form an Economic Development Council by the Flagler County Administration.

In light of all the hoopla, the efforts, the plans, the ideas for job creation, the following news is current, and worth sharing:
New data show that the State of Florida has signed contracts worth $1.7 billion since 1995 in return for promises of 225,000 new jobs. 
But only about one-third of those jobs have been filled while the state has paid out 43% of the contracts -- averaging out a tax-payer cost of $10,237 per job created!
St. Petersburg Times: Florida tax incentive programs create 1 out of every 3 jobs promised

I encourage you to read the full article here, and you will immediately realize that there has been similar job creation failures (and unfulfilled contracts) in Flagler County from Palm Coast Data, to Sea Ray, to Micro Hose makers, to Defense Consultant firms etc. etc.

Once our elected officials and so called 'economic-development professionals' understand the following two realities, perhaps we can then make wise choices for long term development of business and creation of jobs as a local-community, State, and Country:

 1) A business does not create jobs for the sake of job creation.
 2) Investing in traditional businesses/business-models is no longer a winning bet.

As the race for the Palm Coast City Council is underway with the early voting already started for the November 8th elections, please make wise choices now that you will not regret later.

I believe that the current Palm Coast City Council operates in harmony and have made sound choices recently to support businesses in a correct way (realizing the deficiencies of Enterprise Flagler and pulling out first from that; and with the establishment of the Palm Coast Business Assistance Center, to create a "lean" organization to play a connector role).

It is my opinion that the re-election of Holsey Moorman and the election of the dynamic, young Jason DeLorenzo would be the sound choices to make at this juncture, though I and qualified business leaders I talk to, are ready to support the City's continuing efforts for entrepreneurship and business creation and support regardless of the make up of the City Council.

This is an opinion piece by Ky Ekinci.  
Ky is a management consultant and an entrepreneur based in Palm Coast, FL.  Ky is a co-founder of
Office Divvy and Palm Coast Media Online. He has a master’s degree from Cambridge College in Management. He can be found on twitter @KyEkinci.

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