HB 1051

A bill to be entitled
2An act relating to economic development; creating the
3"Small Business Jobs Creation Act"; amending s. 288.061,
4F.S.; reducing the time period within which Enterprise
5Florida, Inc., and the Office of Tourism, Trade, and
6Economic Development must review and evaluate applications
7for state economic development incentives; amending s.
8288.106, F.S.; reducing the time period within which a
9local government must adopt a resolution to provide
10financial support to a business applying to participate in
11the tax refund program for qualified target industry
12businesses; reducing the time period within which a
13business applying to participate in the tax refund program
14for qualified target industry must sign an agreement with
15the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development;
16authorizing an extension of time for a business to sign an
17agreement under certain circumstances; requiring the
18Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development to
19return the unused portion of local financial support
20within a specified time period if a business fails to
21timely sign an agreement or no longer participates in the
22tax refund program; waiving the requirements for certain
23businesses to pay a minimum average wage during the first
24year of an agreement under the tax refund program for
25qualified target industry businesses; amending s. 400.462,
26F.S.; redefining the term "remuneration" as used in the
27Home Health Services Act to exclude certain items having a
28value less than a specified threshold amount; providing an
29effective date.
31     WHEREAS, Florida has more than 2 million small businesses
32and more than 1 million self-employed persons, according to a
332009 report produced by the U.S. Small Business Administration's
34Office of Advocacy, and
35     WHEREAS, Florida's small businesses comprise more than 90
36percent of the total number of businesses in Florida and employ
37at least 44 percent of private-sector employees, and
38     WHEREAS, from 2003 until 2006, the greatest number of jobs
39attributable to small businesses were created by companies
40having fewer than five employees, according to the U.S. Small
41Business Administration, and
42     WHEREAS, the Great Recession of 2009-2010 afflicted even
43more agile small businesses in Florida and nationwide with
44losses of jobs, contracts, and capital, and
45     WHEREAS, Florida's unemployment rate is at 12 percent,
46equating to 1.1 million Floridians out of work, many of whom are
47former employees of a small business, and
48     WHEREAS, in surveys and at public forums provided by the
49Florida Office of Small Business Advocate in 2010, small
50business owners revealed that their top three concerns were
51access to capital, the lack of small business incentives, and an
52unstable or less favorable climate for small businesses, and
53     WHEREAS, Florida's target industry sectors, including all
54types of manufacturing, offer the promise of jobs that pay
55higher wages and more stable employment, NOW, THEREFORE,
57Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
59     Section 1.  This act may be cited as the "Small Business
60Jobs Creation Act."
61     Section 2.  Section 288.061, Florida Statutes, is amended
62to read:
63     288.061  Economic development incentive application
65     (1)  Within 4 10 business days after receiving a submitted
66economic development incentive application, Enterprise Florida,
67Inc., shall review the application and inform the applicant
68business whether or not its application is complete. Within 10
69business days after the application is deemed complete,
70Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall evaluate the application and
71recommend approval or disapproval of the application to the
72director of the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic
73Development. In recommending an applicant business for approval,
74Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall include in its evaluation a
75recommended grant award amount and a review of the applicant's
76ability to meet specific program criteria.
77     (2)  Within 3 10 calendar days after the Office of Tourism,
78Trade, and Economic Development receives the evaluation and
79recommendation from Enterprise Florida, Inc., the office shall
80notify Enterprise Florida, Inc., whether or not the application
81is reviewable. Within 14 22 calendar days after the office
82receives the recommendation from Enterprise Florida, Inc., the
83director of the office shall review the application and issue a
84letter of certification to the applicant that approves or
85disapproves an applicant business and includes a justification
86of that decision, unless the business requests an extension of
87that time. The final order shall specify the total amount of the
88award, the performance conditions that must be met to obtain the
89award, and the schedule for payment.
90     Section 3.  Subsection (5) of section 288.106, Florida
91Statutes, is amended, present subsection (8) of that section is
92renumbered as subsection (9), and a new subsection (8) is added
93to that section, to read:
94     288.106  Tax refund program for qualified target industry
97     (a)  Each qualified target industry business must enter
98into a written agreement with the office that specifies, at a
100     1.  The total number of full-time equivalent jobs in this
101state which that will be dedicated to the project, the average
102wage of those jobs, the definitions that will apply for
103measuring the achievement of these terms during the pendency of
104the agreement, and a time schedule or plan for when such jobs
105will be in place and active in this state.
106     2.  The maximum amount of tax refunds that the qualified
107target industry business is eligible to receive on the project
108and the maximum amount of a tax refund that the qualified target
109industry business is eligible to receive for each fiscal year,
110based on the job creation and maintenance schedule specified in
111subparagraph 1.
112     3.  That the office may review and verify the financial and
113personnel records of the qualified target industry business to
114ascertain whether that business is in compliance with this
116     4.  The date by which, in each fiscal year, the qualified
117target industry business may file a claim under subsection (6)
118to be considered to receive a tax refund in the following fiscal
120     5.  That local financial support will be annually available
121and will be paid to the account. The office may not enter into a
122written agreement with a qualified target industry business if
123the local financial support resolution is not passed by the
124local governing body within 45 90 days after the office has
125issued the letter of certification under subsection (4).
126     6.  That the office may conduct a review of the business to
127evaluate whether the business is continuing to contribute to the
128area's or state's economy.
129     7.  That in the event the business does not complete the
130agreement, the business will provide the office with the reasons
131the business was unable to complete the agreement.
132     (b)  Compliance with the terms and conditions of the
133agreement is a condition precedent for the receipt of a tax
134refund each year. The failure to comply with the terms and
135conditions of the tax refund agreement results in the loss of
136eligibility for receipt of all tax refunds previously authorized
137under this section and the revocation by the office of the
138certification of the business entity as a qualified target
139industry business, unless the business is eligible to receive
140and elects to accept a prorated refund under paragraph (6)(e) or
141the office grants the business an economic recovery extension.
142     1.  A qualified target industry business may submit a
143request to the office for an economic recovery extension. The
144request must provide quantitative evidence demonstrating how
145negative economic conditions in the business's industry, the
146effects of a named hurricane or tropical storm, or specific acts
147of terrorism affecting the qualified target industry business
148have prevented the business from complying with the terms and
149conditions of its tax refund agreement.
150     2.  Upon receipt of a request under subparagraph 1., the
151office has 45 days to notify the requesting business, in
152writing, whether its extension has been granted or denied. In
153determining whether an extension should be granted, the office
154shall consider the extent to which negative economic conditions
155in the requesting business's industry have occurred in the state
156or the effects of a named hurricane or tropical storm or
157specific acts of terrorism affecting the qualified target
158industry business have prevented the business from complying
159with the terms and conditions of its tax refund agreement. The
160office shall consider current employment statistics for this
161state by industry, including whether the business's industry had
162substantial job loss during the prior year, when determining
163whether an extension shall be granted.
164     3.  As a condition for receiving a prorated refund under
165paragraph (6)(e) or an economic recovery extension under this
166paragraph, a qualified target industry business must agree to
167renegotiate its tax refund agreement with the office to, at a
168minimum, ensure that the terms of the agreement comply with
169current law and office procedures governing application for and
170award of tax refunds. Upon approving the award of a prorated
171refund or granting an economic recovery extension, the office
172shall renegotiate the tax refund agreement with the business as
173required by this subparagraph. When amending the agreement of a
174business receiving an economic recovery extension, the office
175may extend the duration of the agreement for a period not to
176exceed 2 years.
177     4.  A qualified target industry business may submit a
178request for an economic recovery extension to the office in lieu
179of any tax refund claim scheduled to be submitted after January
1801, 2009, but before July 1, 2012.
181     5.  A qualified target industry business that receives an
182economic recovery extension may not receive a tax refund for the
183period covered by the extension.
184     (c)  The agreement must be signed by the director and by an
185authorized officer of the qualified target industry business
186within 60 120 days after the issuance of the letter of
187certification under subsection (4), but not before passage and
188receipt of the resolution of local financial support. The office
189may grant an extension of this period for up to 60 days at the
190written request of the qualified target industry business if the
191business provides the office with compelling reasons for the
192delay. If an agreement is not signed by the business within 120
193days after the letter of certification is issued, the office
194must withdraw the certification. The target industry business
195may not reapply to participate in the program until the
196subsequent state fiscal year.
197     (d)  If an agreement is not signed by a target industry
198business within the time specified in paragraph (c), or if a
199business withdraws from the agreement or the office terminates
200the agreement for noncompliance under paragraph (b), the office
201must return the unused portion of the local financial support to
202the applicable local government within 6 months after those
204     (e)(d)  The agreement must contain the following legend,
205clearly printed on its face in bold type of not less than 10
206points in size: "This agreement is not a general obligation of
207the State of Florida, nor is it backed by the full faith and
208credit of the State of Florida. Payment of tax refunds is
209conditioned on and subject to specific annual appropriations by
210the Florida Legislature sufficient to pay amounts authorized in
211section 288.106, Florida Statutes."
213annual wage requirement is waived for the first year of an
214agreement for any target industry business that enters into a
215tax refund agreement under subsection (5) between July 1, 2011,
216and June 30, 2012, and agrees to expand its operations within
217this state.
218     Section 4.  Subsection (27) of section 400.462, Florida
219Statutes, is amended to read:
220     400.462  Definitions.-As used in this part, the term:
221     (27)  "Remuneration" means any payment or other benefit
222made directly or indirectly, overtly or covertly, in cash or in
223kind. The term does not include items having an individual value
224of less than $10 such as plaques, certificates, trophies, or
225novelties that are intended solely for presentation or are
226customarily given away solely for promotional or advertising
227purposes or to recognize a person for an achievement.
228     Section 5.  This act shall take effect July 1, 2011.

CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.