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CFO Alex Sink Calls on Enterprise Florida to Lead NW FL Economic Recovery

7/21/2010

CONTACT: Kevin Cate, 850-413-2842
 
TALLAHASSEE— Florida CFO Alex Sink today sent a letter to the President & CEO of Enterprise Florida, Inc., requesting that Enterprise Florida, Inc. revise their Northwest Florida 2010-2015 Roadmap to Florida’s Future to address the economic effects of the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
 
“Enterprise Florida can, and I believe should, play a key role in helping reshape and rebuild the Northwest Florida economy,” wrote CFO Alex Sink. “I urge you to closely examine prospects for economic development along our Gulf Coast, as well as opportunities to attract new industries to the area to help our neighbors pick up the pieces and rebuild the Northwest Florida economy once again.”
 
A copy of the letter follows below:
 
July 21, 2010
 
Mr. John Adams
President & CEO
Enterprise Florida, Inc.
800 North Magnolia Avenue
Suite 1100
Orlando, Florida 32803
 
Dear Mr. Adams:
 
Enterprise Florida continues to be an important catalyst for economic diversification in our state by providing leadership and consensus building to attract targeted industries that broaden our employment base.  The commitment to Florida’s innovation economy and broadening foreign trade are two excellent examples of the organization’s work.
 
As a member of the Board of Enterprise Florida, I write to you today to ask that Enterprise Florida put those lessons learned to work to address a vitally important issue that threatens both the short- and long-term health of our Northwest Florida economy and that of the state as a whole.  I am, of course, referring to the economic devastation of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, particularly along our Gulf Coast.
 
Enterprise Florida can, and I believe should, play a key role in helping reshape and rebuild the Northwest Florida economy.  It is clear that the economic challenges from the oil spill provide the unique circumstance for Enterprise Florida to revise the Northwest Florida 2010-2015 Roadmap to Florida’s Future and work with our economic development partners in the region to provide practical solutions to diversify their economy.  I urge you to take up this matter at our next Board meeting; I look forward to your report.
 
I’d like to share a story with you from a recent visit to Northwest Florida.  In conversations with local leaders, one gentleman spoke of the economic and emotional blows that Hurricanes Ivan and Dennis, and then the recession of the last two years had been to their community.  I heard what his words could not convey when he spoke of how they would all come to terms with what he called the “new normal.”  You see, it is so difficult for our neighbors, businesses and social services in Northwest Florida to believe their communities and the sources of their livelihoods will ever be the same.
 
Enterprise Florida is the trailblazer when it comes to identifying economic niches for Florida, and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill presents an opportunity to do just that.  I urge you to closely examine prospects for economic development along our Gulf Coast, as well as opportunities to attract new industries to the area to help our neighbors pick up the pieces and rebuild the Northwest Florida economy once again.
 
Thank you for your engagement on this important issue.
 
Sincerely,
 
Alex Sink
 
cc:   Enterprise Florida Board Members