(Photo: Casey Logan / The News-Press)
Stormy skies parted late Friday afternoon, as Gov. Rick Scott rode into Bonita Springs for his ninth stop in three days on a “Million Miles for a Million Jobs” bus tour that has taken him throughout the state. This time he chose Global Tech LED, a light manufacturer founded by Gary Mart, to highlight a local success story. He was also there to tout job creation in Florida and incentives to attract even more businesses here.
There are an additional 1 million jobs in Florida since Scott took office five years ago, a statistic the governor and others in his administration are happy to trumpet. “It’s not just a number,” Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera said. “That’s a person. That’s a family.”
Global Tech has hired 14 people over the past year-and-a-half or so, employing 50 people. The bus tour has stopped at growing businesses in Orlando, Tampa, Sarasota and five other locations. “Global Tech is an example of what’s going on all across the state,” Scott said. “We have so much to celebrate.”
The governor was also touting his proposal for $1 billion in tax cuts for businesses. The plan seeks to eliminate corporate income taxes charged to manufacturers and retailers, cut sales taxes on manufacturing equipment and reduce sales taxes charged on commercial rents. Scott is also proposing $250 million in Florida Enterprise Fund incentives in the next budget year to attract businesses and spur companies to expand in the state.
“I want the jobs in Florida,” Scott said. “This is a smart investment for more jobs.” Lee County Commissioner Brian Hamman said such incentives have created 4,000 jobs here.
Among notable locals in attendance: Fort Myers Mayor Randy Henderson; County Commissioner Cecil Pendergrass; Christine Ross, leader of the Bonita Springs AreaChamber of Commerce; Brian Rist, CEO of The Smart Cos.; and Len Zaiser, co-founder of Azimuth Technology.