Florida Governor Ron DeSantis this week spotlighted many of the programs, grants and employment assistance offered to Florida’s military veterans and state military installations.
“Florida continues to be the most military-friendly state in the country and supporting service members and their families is an honor and responsibility we hold high,” said DeSantis.
He said, “Florida is home to the third-largest population of veterans in America, and this highly skilled, well-trained workforce is one of the many reasons Florida is the best state for business.”
To assist Florida’s veterans with employment, Florida’s annual “Paychecks for Patriots” hiring fairs are taking place virtually until Nov. 21, 2020. According to the Governor’s Office, during the fairs veterans and military family members connect with hundreds of employers throughout the state. Florida veterans can visit here to find the virtual hiring fair in their county.
The state of Florida offers multiple other resources to connect veteran-owned businesses with opportunities for growth and prosperity.
From certification of veteran-owned businesses eligible to do business with the state through the Florida Department of Management Services’ Office of Supplier Diversity, to full fee waivers for military veterans, active duty personnel and their spouses for a variety of licenses through the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, Florida agencies assist in cutting through the red tape.
The Florida Department of Transportation’s Small Business Program invests in veteran-owned businesses in the state of Florida. Through this program, according to the Governor’s Office, “the department boosts competition and fosters an environment for the continued development and economic growth of these essential businesses throughout the state.”
Enterprise Florida, Inc. (EFI), the state’s principal economic development organization, also provides many programs to assist veterans in starting new businesses with capital formation options and business consultations. EFI publishes the Florida Military Friendly Guide and the Florida Defense Factbook annually to showcase the value of the U.S. defense community and its veterans. Details and contact information for these programs are found here.
To protect military installations across the state, the Governor’s Office also announced this week $1,250,000 was awarded through the Florida Defense Support Task Force (FDSTF) Grant Program to five projects: Santa Rosa County Board of County Commissioners, Clay County Development Authority, Polk County Board of County Commissioners, Orlando Economic Partnership and the South Florida Progress Foundation.
According to the announcement, “Grant funding will support community projects at Florida military installations which provide support for military families, protect Florida’s bases from future encroachment, enhance defense industry growth, and support community resiliency efforts.” More information on the grant program is here.