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My Florida C F O
Weekly eNewsletter from Florida's Chief Financial Officer

Dear Fellow Floridian:

Although it is important to diversify our economy, it is equally vital that the backbone of our economy—Florida's 2.2 million small businesses—continue to grow, prosper and remain in Florida. Even though we are seeing positive trends in business and employment growth, I know we can do more to assist small businesses already established in our state.Florida Small Business Leadership Forum, Gary Vaynerchuk, Jim Moran Institute That is why I partnered with The Jim Moran Institute to host the 2012 Small Business Leadership Forum which will be held in Tampa on Sept. 6-7, 2012. Through the forum, it is my goal to connect business owners with the right tools and information to help them succeed. Along with providing resources to businesses, we are also looking at the forum as an opportunity to hear directly from Florida’s small business community with the goal of bringing that feedback back to Tallahassee to improve our state’s business climate.

Over the past few years the growing popularity of social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Google+ and LinkedIn have changed the way entrepreneurs do business. Social media has reinvented word-of-mouth and has opened up the doors for businesses to connect and engage with their customers in a way that wasn’t as easy or even possible before. There is no better person to speak to social media's influence and ROI for businesses more so than Gary Vaynerchuk, the keynote speaker for the forum! Vaynerchuk's business success and passion for digital integration set him apart from other entrepreneurs and will bring a unique perspective to the forum.

In addition to our dynamic keynote speaker, the forum will cover key topics and panel discussions including short- and long-term forecasts and trends of Florida's economy; ideas for attracting and creating an environment for investment, including improving access to capital; and ways to leverage resources and programs available through our public universities and Small Business Development Centers.

To find out more information about the forum, including a list of panelists and how to register, visit www.flsmallbusinessforum.com. I look forward to seeing you in Tampa!

Jeff Atwater
Jeff Atwater
Chief Financial Officer
State of Florida

News of Interest

Sunshine State News: ICYMI: Five questions for Jeff Atwater

Sun-Sentinel: BP oil-spill fines could boost Everglades restoration

Sun Sentinel: Some Floridians get tax relief after enduring Tropical Storm Debby

WPTV.com: Caution abounds, but hiring continues in South Florida

Miami Herald: Weathering the storm: Hurricane preparation key for South Florida businesses

Forbes: The best places for business and careers

Florida Today: High-tech aerospace firm to call Titusville home

Orlando Business Journal: Florida Chamber survey: Why firms move to, from Sunshine State

Get Ready with a Free Storm Prep Webinar

Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater is urging Floridians to get ready for this potentially active hurricane season.

To help Floridians get prepared, the Department of Financial Services is teaming up with the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) to provide a free webinar, “Protect Your Homebase,” to guide residents through the steps to prepare for a storm and what to do should a storm strike. Protect Your Homebase

Webinar participants are eligible to win a gift pack that includes a $25 Home Depot gift card, Midland NOAA weather radio and a FLASH T-shirt during each webinar. A grand prize drawing at the end of the series will offer participants a chance to win four tickets to Walt Disney World, four $25 Disney gift cards and a VIP tour of Storm Struck, an interactive exhibit at Epcot. Prizes are being provided through FLASH.

There will be two webinars offered in July: Wednesday, July 18, at 2 p.m. and Tuesday, July 24, at 5:30 p.m. Floridians can find out more and register at www.MyFloridaCFO.com/Division/Consumers.

Florida By the Numbers

The new quarterly edition of Florida's Bottom Line will be launched in the next few weeks. Meanwhile, visit our website to find a collection of key statistics that illustrate important changes in Florida’s economy over the past month. Get the most up-to-date financial and economic statistics for Florida, serving as a roadmap for your financial future. Read our current issue at http://www.myfloridacfo.com/floridasbottomline/.