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GrowFL Program Creates 400+ Jobs, Helps Fuel Statewide Economic Growth
Reported Employment Numbers Demonstrate Value of GrowFL Program’s First Year
By: Florida Economic Gardening Institute
Of the 208 companies that have participated in the program to date, 124 responded to GrowFL’s recent job creation survey. Those companies reported creating 418 jobs as a result of participating in the GrowFL program. CEOs of second-stage businesses have had more than 1,300 encounters with the program, against the program’s initial goal of 1,000 encounters.
“We look forward to continuing the momentum the GrowFL program has experienced so far,” said Dr. Tom O’Neal, executive director of the Florida Economic Gardening Institute and associate vice president for the University of Central Florida’s Office of Research and Commercialization. “The benefits of the program to individual companies and Florida’s economy as a whole have been significant.”
GrowFL supports the growth of Florida businesses by providing a free suite of economic gardening support services, as well as unique access to market research and technology. Technical assistance services are customized to the needs of individual companies and may include search engine optimization and social media tools, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), market research, competitive intelligence and management team temperament consulting.
“The technical assistance portion of the GrowFL program has helped 159 companies in the first year. We look forward to providing customized economic gardening support services to many more companies in 2011,” said Fran Korosec, director of client services for GrowFL. “Second-
In addition to new jobs, companies that have participated in the program have reported other anecdotal benefits to their company’s bottom line.
“We are expecting to add additional personnel in 2011, partly as a result of business relationships facilitated by the GrowFL program,” said Craig Reilly, CEO of Orlando-based PlusOne Solutions.
“The Team helped solve two pressing business issues regarding supply chain and strategic marketing decisions. I’d say we received a $25,000 value for what they provided. That’s something we never could have paid for or justified on our own,” said Jon Rosenthal, CEO of Sarasota-based Florikan.
The one-on-one technical assistance program is complemented by GrowFL’s other economic gardening services including CEO peer roundtables, CEO forums and referral services, administered in conjunction with statewide economic development organization partners.
The Florida Economic Gardening Institute was created by the 2009 Florida Legislature to help stimulate Florida’s economy. With the state’s initial investment of more than $1.4 million, each new job created by the program in 2010 cost the state just $3,416. FEGI received $2 million in funding from the State of Florida for a second year of the GrowFL program.
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GrowFL is the official Economic Gardening Technical Assistance Pilot Program for the State of Florida and a program of the Florida Economic Gardening Institute. Created in 2009 to stimulate investment in Florida’s economy by providing technical assistance for expanding businesses in the state, the Florida Economic Gardening Institute is headquartered at the University of Central Florida under contract with the State of Florida’s Office of Tourism, Trade and Economic Development under the Executive Office of the Governor. Additional information is available at www.GrowFL.com.