Governor Ron DeSantis announced on Monday that the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) is awarding $2 million in Florida Job Growth Grant Funds to the City of St. Pete Beach.
According to a press release, the funding, along with a $2 million match from the City, will be used to finalize the overhaul of the city’s wastewater system to restore capacity for hotel and lodging expansion. The project is expected to create 1,316 new, permanent jobs and generate nearly $13 million annually for the local economy. The Governor made the announcement at Crabby Bill’s, a local staple and one of many businesses that will benefit from increased tourism to the area.
“I am pleased to announce $2 million to finalize wastewater system upgrades that will support economic growth in St. Pete Beach,” said DeSantis. “This infrastructure will serve a vital role in protecting the incredible environment here while allowing the area to expand accommodations and welcome more visitors, which will bolster all parts of the local economy. By investing in projects like this one, we continue to make Florida the top destination in the country for job growth and economic activity.”
Today’s announcement is part of a week-long series of events in which the Governor is highlighting projects that are essential to keeping the state’s economy moving. Below are statistics about Florida’s economic growth released by the Governor’s Office:
- For the last 16 consecutive months, Florida has experienced private sector job growth, gaining 19,400 private sector jobs over the month in August 2021.
- In total, Florida has gained 990,400 jobs since the peak of the pandemic in April 2020.
- For 13 consecutive months, the state of Florida’s unemployment rate has remained below the national rate.
- Florida’s labor force also continues to substantially grow. Over the last 5 months, Florida’s labor force has grown by 373,000, showing the success of the state’s ‘Return to Work’ initiative as more Floridians are returning to work.
- Data indicates that there continue to be many job opportunities available for Floridians throughout the state, with more than 520,000 jobs posted online.
- Since July 2020, 27 major companies have moved their operations to Florida or expanded in Florida, creating 10,400 new jobs and investing $1.4 billion in the state.
- Florida is outperforming the national average in all areas related to tourism, including hotel demand, traveler spending, and air travel capacity. Florida’s hotel room revenue in Florida increased 11% in August 2021 compared to 2019. The rest of the nation declined 5% over that same period.
“Through this award to the City of St. Pete Beach, Governor DeSantis is furthering our state’s mission to bolster Florida businesses and enhance economic and environmental resiliency,” said Secretary Dane Eagle of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. “This funding will help the City of St. Pete Beach complete the current wastewater renovations, open doors to redevelopment, and help create new jobs to further support the lives of the Floridians who live there.”
The Florida Job Growth Grant Fund is an economic development program designed to promote public infrastructure and workforce training across the state. Proposals are reviewed by the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) and Enterprise Florida, Inc., (EFI) and chosen by the Governor to meet the demands for workforce training or infrastructure needs in communities around the state.
“Today’s award to the City of St. Pete Beach goes a long way toward supporting redevelopment and future economic growth in the area,” said Florida Secretary of Commerce Jamal Sowell, President & CEO of Enterprise Florida, Inc. “This will provide funding for an important project that will improve wastewater infrastructure and encourage job growth throughout the City.”