Enterprise Florida: Partnership for a Competitive Economy

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(October 31, 1991) The Economic challenges of the 1990s require a strategic approach to economic development that goes well beyond traditional ways of doing business. In fact, business as usual in today’s competitive environment is simply not enough. To meet these challenges, Florida must change its strategic direction and organization for economic development.

Enterprise Florida is the product of an historic joint venture between state government and the state’s business community. The Florida Chamber and the Florida Department of Commerce joined together to prepare an organizational plan for implementing the Chamber’s Cornerstone and Enterprise Florida studies and the results from the Governor’s Transition Task Force and the Government by the People Commission. With assistance of SRI International and the Counsel for Community Development, a statewide Economic Development Task Force examined experiences from other states as well as prior Florida studies to develop this report.

Enterprise Florida will enhance economic development by joining the efforts of the public and private sectors in a more integrated way. Enterprise Florida is a true public-private partnership, not a privatization of economic development. Over three years, certain functions of the Department of Commerce will be incorporated in Enterprise Florida under a Board of Directors that will be chaired by the Governor and a senior business leader. Members of the legislature will be included on the Board of Enterprise Florida along with private sector leaders from across the state. Enterprise Florida will give more focus to economic development that now exists under our fragmented system.

Now is the time to act to build a strong economic future for Florida. The goal of Enterprise Florida is to create a competitive economy that will generate high quality of jobs and a better quality of life for all Florida residents. The economic health of our state and the ability to pay for our quality of life are directly linked and must be a top priority for all Floridians. Economic development is not simply a business issue or a regional concern – it is the way all Floridians earn a higher standard of living.