Launched in 2009 to help second-stage companies grow and create new jobs, GrowFL uses principles of Economic Gardening® to help growing companies throughout Florida overcome obstacles to mature and prosper. A January 2015 study by Florida TaxWatch forecast the economic impact of GrowFL and concluded that “Florida should continue this approach to economic development.” Since that report was published, three important things have happened: (1) the GrowFL program has continued to assist Florida’s second-stage companies; (2) the state has changed its strategy of investing in economic growth and development; and (3) a new academic analysis has estimated the job creation attributable to the GrowFL program since its inception in 2009. This study also found that the program has generated a net return on investment of more than 9-to-1.
These changes have prompted TaxWatch to revisit the 2015 analysis, using the REMI PI+ economic forecasting model, to calculate GrowFL’s economic impact over the next 10 years (2018-2027). The REMI analysis concluded that, over the next decade, GrowFL will:
- generate $4.72 billion in additional Gross Domestic Product (GDP);
- create 43,794 private sector, non-farm jobs statewide, with an average annual salary of $97,815;
- produce $4.61 billion in additional personal income for Floridians; and
- generate $345.14 million in additional state tax receipts.
This analysis shows that GrowFL plays an important part in the development of Florida’s entrepreneurial economy, producing tens of thousands of high-paying jobs across the state and helping to diversify the state’s economy. If lawmakers are committed to growing Florida’s economy from within, then a continued public investment in GrowFL would be a wise investment indeed.