Imagine Tallahassee's 10 Project Recommendations
December 14, 2013
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  • • Entrepreneurial Development Fund: Would allocate $15 million over 20 years to expand successful programs that support start-up businesses, educate entrepreneurs and raise the odds of their success locally. Goals include aiding commercialization of technologies and innovations from university research, coordinating the resources available for new businesses and marketing the area to entrepreneurs elsewhere.

    • Small Minority and Woman-owned Business Funding: Proposes to create a program of microlending to qualified businesses which are unable to secure loans through other means. Annual budget of $750,000. Applicants would be screened for acceptance and be eligible to receive technical assistance and training to assure their success.

    • Technology & Innovation Incubators: Would establish a fund of $10 million over 20 years to provide business space, support and mentoring of start-ups. New companies would have access to business modeling, technology, potential sources of venture capital and help with the transition to commercial operations.

    • Business Retention, Expansion & Attraction Fund: Would allocate funds for marketing Tallahassee as a business location, for creating a business-ready environment and workforce development aimed at particular talent needs that industries have. Calls for $10 million in programs and $5 million in marketing over the 20-year tax extension.

    • Regional Airport Growth & Development: Would provide for growth of existing airport businesses and for development of vacant airport land. Pursues increased air service options and aviation-related manufacturing, distribution and research. A planned next step is attaining international status for the airport, which would expand economic development opportunities and add to air cargo and passenger service potential for the region.

    • Economic Opportunity Rapid Response Fund: Proposal for $7.5 million that is pre-approved for quick response to business opportunities where project needs exceed state incentives. The fund would enable local officials to offer inducements to a relocating company when Tallahassee is competing with another community for that project. The Intergovernmental Agency (Blueprint 2000) would establish the rules on how the money would be spent.

    Madison Mile Convention District: Seeks a one-time amount of $20 million in support of FSU’s proposed convention complex construction. Separately, FSU’s request for proposals on the hotel portion is anticipated to be released next spring. District’s total anticipated capital investments in infrastructure and facilities are $260.8 million. Projection is 1,000 jobs in the district and $100 million annual recurring economic impact. FSU’s College of Business and Dedman School of Hospitality would move into the district.

    • South Monroe/Adams Corridor Catalyst: Would use sales tax dollars to implement the action items in the city’s own plan for the district adopted in 2011. Creates a sense of place that attracts businesses and leverages other improvements being made. Proposal includes landscaping, facade upgrades, murals and other elements property owners could use to enhance their presence and the marketability of their businesses.

    • Quantum Leaps & Signature Festivals: Proposes to devote $250,000 per year to promote the area’s arts and cultural amenities, plus market events and festivals to boost tourism. Money would be distributed through the Council on Culture & Arts via a communitywide grant committee. Builds the local economy of “creative industries”.

    • Raising the Ship Talent Development: Would provide for comprehensive assessment of job seekers in conjunction with local talent needs. Provides training source and aids individuals who face chronic barriers to finding work. Goals include expanding the number of jobs that require higher skills and that pay higher wages, plus establishing a system that operates along a continuum from assessment to education and training to job placement.