According to a recent media reports, small business contractors throughout the area have been laying people off as a result of Pentagon cutbacks. Simultaneously, a measure that may have aided this essential component of Florida’s economy was written off by the legislature.
A proposed economic incentive, “Defense Works in Florida,” would have directed $2.5 billion of new federal contract revenue to Florida’s small defense subcontractors — at a cost to the state of just $3.3 million.
The Florida Defense Contractors Association, Florida Chamber, and Associated Industries of Florida were all on record supporting the proposal. After all, while Enterprise Florida has stated that federal military procurement is a key driver of Florida’s high-wage, high-technology economy, it is also the case that Florida’s per capita defense procurement dollars lag other states.
“Defense Works in Florida” stalled in the Legislature, with its promised return not to be seen at least for the coming year.