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Daily Legislative Brief from January 16, 2018

Economic Development

SB 990-Relating to Rural Communities

On Tuesday, January 16th, SB 990 by Senator Bill Montford (D-Tallahassee) was heard before the Senate Committee on Commerce and Tourism and passed unanimously by a vote of 8 yeas to 0 nays. AIF’s Senior Vice President of State and Federal Affairs, Brewster Bevis, stood in support of this bill.

SB 990 creates the Florida Rural Community Jobs and Business Resiliency ACT (act). This act is designed to create jobs and help revitalize Florida’s rural communities. During the committee meeting an amendment offered by the bill sponsor was adopted. The amendment reduces the fiscal impact of the program to $0 for the first two years and $12 million annually for the subsequent five years of the program.  Under the amended legislation, the $60 Million in forgone state insurance premium tax revenue, would be pooled with $40 million in private sector Capital to provide $100 million of growth capital immediately for small businesses located in Florida’s rural communities.  The result will be small businesses in our hard-hit rural communities will have access to growth capital in the form of low interest loans and equity with flexible terms beyond what the marketplace can offer.

SB 990 will move on to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development for its next hearing.

AIF supports legislation which expands the economic development tools for Florida business especially within rural communities and Rural Areas of Opportunity and creates a mechanism for private Capital to be invested in small businesses.