Where is Governor Scott’s job plan for African Americans in Florida?
By Roger Caldwell
Since Governor Scott has taken office in 2010, the state unemployment numbers have dropped from 11.1 percent to 6.7 percent, and there has been 440,000 private sector jobs created. Based on our governor’s numbers the good times are here again in Florida. It would appear that the recession is over, jobs are plentiful and the middle class is booming.
But everywhere I look prices keep going up, and sales are down, and my friends keep getting laid off or hours cut. Everyone is worried and everyone is cutting back. Instead of going out to the restaurant two days a week, families are going out once every two weeks, and the restaurant workers are standing around and not busy.
When Governor Scott took office, he called himself the jobs governor, and he promised the state that he would create 700,000 jobs in seven years, but it appears that he is having problems. Every week our governor is going to a photo-op, where he is cutting a ribbon to highlight the promise of new jobs.
Steve Bousquet of the Times/Herald says “Governor Scott makes big jobs promises, but so far gains are small. Of the jobs Scott can influence most, only a fraction now exists. Scott has pledged $266 million in tax breaks and other incentives in return for 45,256 new jobs. But 96 percent of the jobs have yet to materialize, according to state data.”
When large or small corporations decide to move to Florida, they receive tax breaks which is standard practice in business. I consider this corporate welfare, but our governor and legislators consider it building good business relations. Before any large corporation moves into the state or they plan to expand their operation, they know to make a financial deal with the state. Even though the companies make deals many times they never materialize.
Two years after Scott agreed to spend $250,000 renovating a Kissimmee warehouse. The building remains empty. Eighteen months after Florida offered $700,000 in incentives for Global Voter Solutions to hire 127, people for a civic website, the project remains stalled. Klausner Holdings Inc. planned to shift 410 jobs from Spokane, Washington, to Panama City, and received $400,000. The jobs never arrived, and the money is gone.
There are hundreds of other projects and the majority of the projects were not successful. After the photo-op there is no transparency, and no one gets a report if the project is completed and successful.
As an African American entrepreneur in the state of Florida, I wonder if the state makes an effort to help offer more Black businesses an opportunity to succeed. In order to be successful in business it takes tax breaks and incentives. Businesses in the African American community are not productive. Because they don’t understand that they must develop a comprehensive business plan that includes tax breaks and incentives.
The challenge in Florida is for more Black businesses to develop good business ideas that provide jobs in the com-munity. Once the ideas and plan are formulated, it is necessary to get more assistance from the state. Our governor never talks about the jobs that have been created in the African American community.
Where is the plan for the creation of jobs in the African American community in Florida?