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

Dear Fellow Floridians:Florida's Bottom Line

In this challenging economy, there has been a surge of interest in economic data. It seems that every time you turn on the TV, listen to the radio or read a newspaper someone is commenting on or attempting to analyze economic data. As your CFO, I wanted to create a publication that offered Florida’s families and businesses straightforward, unbiased data on Florida’s economy.

That was the inspiration behind Florida’s Bottom Line, a quarterly, interactive publication that will serve as a one-stop-shop for information specifically about Florida’s economy. We have spent the past few months working with our partners at the University of Florida’s Bureau Economic and Business Research and the Florida Legislature’s Office of Economic and Demographic Research to develop this new publication.

The first issue of Florida’s Bottom Line will appear in your e-mail box soon, and I hope you will take the time to read it and give us your feedback. My goal is that it will become your go-to source for economic data and information on our state.

Jeff Atwater
Jeff Atwater
Chief Financial Officer
State of Florida

News of Interest

 

ABC News: Medal of Honor Recipient Declines FDNY Deadline Extension

Charlotte Sun: Treasure Hunt Pay for Dinner

St. Pete Times: 'Dolphin Tale' filming brought jobs, made $16 million splash in Florida

St. Pete Times: Former Florida Gov. Claude Kirk dies at age 85

St. Pete Times: Huge solar array to be built in Gadsden County

Associated Press: Government will not seek appellate court review of health care overhaul

St. Petersburg Times: Florida consumer confidence rebounds slightly

The Florida Times-Union: JPMorgan seeks incentives to bring 250 jobs to Jacksonville

The Palm Beach Post: Two companies to add 140 jobs in Palm Beach County

CFO Jeff Atwater Offers Free Workshops for Women’s Small Business Month

Your Money Matters

In today’s challenging economy, business owners need to do more with less while expecting greater outcomes from their company finances. This week, CFO Jeff Atwater announced the launch of a new financial literacy campaign, Your Money Matter$, that will provide interactive financial education for small business owners, seniors, military and their families, and young adults.

The initiative is being kicked off with a series of free Women’s Small Business workshops as part of Women’s Small Business Month in October.

CFO Atwater has been touring the state talking to businesses and hearing their struggles first hand. He believes these financial education workshops will have a positive impact on the success of the participants, which in turn will have a positive effect on their bottom line, as well as the overall economy.

These workshops will be offered in four cities, Tampa, Jacksonville, Ft. Lauderdale and Orlando, and will address areas of financial concern, specifically programs that will provide easy-to-understand training and financial education that will increase knowledge and improve the success of business not only locally, but across Florida.

Haven’t started your business yet? Not a woman business owner? That’s Okay. CFO Atwater welcomes any small business owner to participate in these workshops.

Click here for workshop registration along with the dates and locations.

For additional information, visit www.MyFloridaCFO.com/Consumers or call the Consumer Services Helpline at 1-877-My-FL-CFO (1-877-693-5236).

Put Your Financial Knowledge to the Test and Win an iPad2

In conjunction with his new Your Money Matter$ financial literacy campaign, Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater has teamed up with VISA and the NFL to encourage young Floridians to go the extra yard to secure a strong financial future. As a part of the efforts to educate Florida’s future generations, CFO Atwater will be holding a Financial Literacy social media campaign and giving away an iPad2 donated by Visa.

The contest begins on Monday, October 3 and will run until Friday, October 7. To enter to win and for contest rules, please visit www.facebook.com/cfojeffatwater or www.twitter.com/jeffatwater. Questions will be posted on these sites and the first eligible participant to respond correctly will be entered to win the iPad2.

Hillsborough County Votes to Put Brakes on Staged Accidents

Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater applauds the Hillsborough County commissioners for taking the historic step last Wednesday of approving an ordinance aimed at curbing the fraudulent accident clinics that drive PIP fraud.

The ordinance, which passed unanimously, increases oversight over automobile accident clinics. These “PIP” clinics, defined as those which receive a significant portion of their business from billing automobile insurance companies, will need a county license to operate. This ordinance fills a void currently found in Florida law, which exempts many of these clinics from state regulation.

Since 2009, Hillsborough County has made 127 arrests and closed down 7 clinics for staged crashes, insurance fraud, patient brokering, and other crimes.

“I support any push back to help stop PIP fraud and keep more money in the pockets of honest, hard-working Floridians,” said CFO Jeff Atwater. “I especially praise Commissioner Kevin Beckner, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office and the National Insurance Crime Bureau for making this happen. My office will continue to work with federal and local authorities to identify more ways to stay ahead of this costly crime.”

PIP fraud is costing Floridians millions of dollars, which is passed on as higher insurance premiums to honest drivers. Florida currently leads the nation in suspected fraudulent personal injury claims, and has three of the top five cities nationally - Orlando, Tampa, and Miami.

Anyone with information regarding suspected insurance fraud is asked to call the department’s Division of Insurance Fraud at 1-800-378-0445. Individuals who provide tips can remain anonymous and are eligible for a reward of up to $25,000 for information that directly leads to an arrest and conviction in an insurance fraud scheme.