Originally Published in the Palm Beach Post, April 12, 2017
Jobs aren’t cropping up in Florida quite like they used to, and with public-private partnerships on the chopping block, the tide is unlikely to turn any time soon.
That was the message economist Jerry Parrish had for the 1,000 attendees of the Broward Workshop’s “State of the County” forum on Friday.
“It’s getting harder and harder to create jobs in this state,” he said, joking that he must have missed the memo to “keep it upbeat.” “You don’t have to kill Visit Florida. You don’t have to kill Enterprise Florida. Just talking about killing those things is killing jobs.”
Eliminating the partnerships would harm tourism, one of the tri-county region’s most dominant industries, said Parrish, chief economist and director of research for the Florida Chamber Foundation, a business advocacy group.
“If you don’t remember anything I said, remember that: This directly affects Florida’s future,” he said.
Parrish’s comments come as the legislature is weighing whether to cut funding or outright eliminate Enterprise Florida, which provides tax incentives to attract businesses, and Visit Florida, the state’s public-private tourism agency.