Sunday, March 16, 2014

Poll: Were the thousands Enterprise Florida spent wooing location consultants worth it?

, Reporter- Orlando Business Journal

Integrity Florida wants the state chief inspector general to investigate claims that Enterprise Florida spent $431,100 in taxpayer money on lavish trips and expenditures while wooing consultants hired by companies to find new locations for them.

That includes $2,000 on 4 Rivers Smokehouse barbecue and $22,000 on Yankee luxury suites (check here for the full list of fun expenditures).

Enterprise Florida is in a tough position. Nancy Blum-Heintz, vice president of communications for Enterprise Florida, isn't denying that the public-private entity spent the money. Their position is, simply, that Enterprise Florida didn't break any laws by doing so.

"To be successful in economic development, [Enterprise Florida] must build and maintain strong relationships with site selection professionals across the country," Blum-Heintz wrote in a response, which you can download here. "Stadium expenditures were for site selection consultant events, key to building relationships with corporate decision makers while promoting Florida as a premier state for business."

Site selectors hold a lot of power when it comes to bringing jobs to the state, pitting states and municipalities against one another to get the best deal for companies looking to relocate.

So what do you think? Hit the poll and vote to weigh in.

Do you think the thousands Enterprise Florida spends wooing site selectors is worth it?

Yes, it pays off with new companies and jobs 55%
No, that's too much money for unknown return 42%
Don't know, don't care 3%

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