Swoope Talks Job Creation, Incentives to Tampa Hillsborough EDC

March 26, 2015

Mark Holan | Tampa Bay Business Journal
Enterprise Florida Chief Gray Swoope said 18,712 new jobs have been created statewide this year through November, compared to 14,345 new jobs during the same 11-month period last year. The state’s economic development organization has helped create or retain a total of 25,144 jobs the first 11 months of this year, compared to 23,064 in 2011, he said.
Total capital investment statewide is up by nearly a third to $1.7 billion, Swoope said.
Swoope was in Tampa on Friday to address the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corp., including the announcement that CLI Solutions is adding 40 jobs as part of a new headquarters. He spoke with the Tampa Bay Business Journal in a follow up telephone call on Tuesday.
Swoope said he hasn’t fully analyzed The New York Times’ investigation on how cities, counties and states award more than $80 billion a year in incentives to attract and retain businesses.
The report shows Florida spends nearly $4 billion per year on incentives, or $212 per capita. Swoope agreed that state and local competition to lure and retain businesses is keener than ever. He also suggested that the incentive dollars and even jobs created don’t always tell the full story of how new business enterprises have positively transformed communities.
In January, Enterprise Florida will unveil a branding campaign to help lure more businesses to Florida. The idea is to convince companies to move here for what we have in place to offer, instead of what more we need to give away.