Dear Fellow Floridian:
Last year, my office partnered with the Florida Chamber of Commerce and the
Jim Moran Institute at Florida State University's College of Business to
host the 2012 Small Business Leadership Forum. This forum brought
together small business owners and entrepreneurs from across the state, helping
connect them with resources and discussing their ideas on how we can improve our
This year, we have partnered with the Florida Chamber once again to host the
2013 Small Business Series: Engaging Florida’s Economic Backbone. This
series aims to bring together
small business owners, companies and entrepreneurs to discuss ways to strengthen
the state’s business community and exchange policy ideas that will help bolster
Florida’s economy. We have already hosted two such events and we plan to do
During National Small Business Week this week, I met with businesses at the
Naples Chamber of Commerce. Having these direct and frank conversations on what
we can do to improve the business ecosystem in our state will allow me to shape
policy that will continue to steadily improve our economy. While we continue to
see positive trends in business and employment growth, I know we can do more to
assist businesses already established in our state. Small businesses play a
critical role in Florida’s economy, and it is our goal to allow for a free flow
of ideas and discussion. A healthy and thriving small business community is
vital to Florida’s overall economic health.
Chief Financial Officer
State of Florida
South Florida Man Arrested for Stealing More Than $78,000 in
Florida CFO Atwater announced the arrest of Renell Peters,
30, of Fort Lauderdale for public assistance fraud. Peters, a
former parent counselor with Family Central Inc. of Palm Beach
County, falsified official records pertaining to subsidized
child care services, misappropriating $75,599.
“Every dime of public assistance that is misappropriated is money stolen from
families and children who truly need the services,” CFO Jeff Atwater said. “We
will continue to work with our partners in law enforcement to crack down on
fraud and hold the perpetrators accountable.”
An investigation by the Department of Financial Services’ Division of Public
Assistance Fraud revealed that from August 2011 to April 2013 Peters, while
employed at Family Central Inc., illegally approved and authorized child care
services on 13 different cases in exchange for monetary kickbacks of up to $600
per case. Peters deliberately authorized ineligible households to received care
ahead of families who were in real need of these services.
Peters was booked into the Broward County jail. He is charged with organized
scheme to defraud, a first-degree felony, and faces up to 30 years prison.
Florida's Bottom Line
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This quarterly edition of Florida’s Bottom Line features information about
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companion website has graphs and charts on Florida's economy and jobs,
economic news and resources, updated as new information is released. Florida’s
consumer confidence, a popular barometer of the state’s economy, is gauged
through a survey of roughly five-hundred Floridians each month. Consumer
confidence is determined by asking five standard questions about each
respondent’s financial situation and outlook for the economy.
A monthly survey of employers is taken by the government to determine total
nonagricultural payroll employment, which essentially measures how many jobs
exist. This survey, known as the Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey,
polls around 141,000 employers nationally.
Florida’s Bottom Line website will keep you aware of the changing
state of Florida's economy.