Hillsborough economic development a failure – so far

Jobless in Tampa Hillsborough

Since the boom years leading up to 2006, jobs and unemployment were hardly even discussed in Hillsborough County Florida. The biggest concern was “How do we build yet more houses?”

Starting in 2006, unemployment has steadily gone up and unsold houses piled up. New-home developments had more weed-infested lots than homeowners and foreclosure was in the air.

Freshly into 2011, area unemployment worsened to 12.4% and 13,000 jobs were lost in January alone.

So, what has the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners done, and what have they accomplished since 2006?

Numerous “Task Force” studies were funded and “strategic plans” were developed to

  • build a train for downtown Tampa;
  • pave over rural areas along I-4;
  • create an economic development road map and
  • create new big-business incentive programs.

All of which helped consultants get rich while making plans for other consultants and land-use attorneys to get rich.

So far, we are hitting zero for four in actually helping people into good-paying jobs.

Hillsborough County Commissioner Sandy MurmanFinally, newly-elected Commissioner Sandy Murman is proposing programs that would help small businesses get going and get growing.

It is the small business community that drives the majority of jobs. It is time to start and sustain small business enterprise rather than keep trying for a home run by landing The Big Business.

Murman has directed county staff to quickly look into incentive programs for small business including a possible micro-enterprise loan program.

Now, we may finally stop doing endless consultant-driven “studies” and start doing some good.

The Wisconsin Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce has rolled out a small business micro-loan program in partnership with local banks to help solve their unemployment crisis, unlike our own local Chambers of Commerce.

Government hand out

While so many of us are concerned about Big Government, budget deficits  and spending, what is our local Big Business private-sector doing, other than holding their collective hands out for yet more government incentives?

Where is that hand up,
for small business?

<IMHO> Fred Jacobsen

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One Response to “Hillsborough economic development a failure – so far”

  1. mouse smith Says:

    The same bureaucrats who have been in charge FOR THE LAST 15 YRS. AND are still in charge, MIRACLE MERRILL, Lucia Garsys, Gene Gray, the Tampa Chamber and now TAMPA HILLSBOROUGH ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION….ARE THE PROBLEM.

    Attending these meetings and watching the non-existent production tells me the right vehicles are not being employed.

    THESE BUREAUCRATS are listening to commissioners who do not know A THING ABOUT BUSINESS. Yes, a couple may have degress, that piece of paper does not guarantee BUSINESS ACUMEN, and if they did would not follow the lead that has been pushed out by people like HAGAN.

    HAGAN’S DREAM of a baseball team and another stadium to pay for with public money is the extent of his business sense. Of course, BIG TALK WITH A HIGH PRICE FOR THE PUBLIC IS HIS REAL TALENT.

    WE NEED TO GET RID OF THE BUREAUCRATS IN CHARGE….THERE IS LOTS OF TALENT OUT THERE AND AT VERY GOOD PRICES….

    IT IS REALLY TIME TO REORGANIZE WITHOUT THE CURRENT HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY IN PLACE ABOVE FOLKS.

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