WHEREAS, the idea of the "American Dream" is firmly rooted in our country's history, a core belief we uphold that each individual has the right and freedom to seek prosperity and happiness; and
WHEREAS, the idea of the American Dream is strong in Florida, where more than 1.7 million new business formations occurred since January 2020, more than any other state in the nation during the same time period; and
WHEREAS, small businesses are the backbone of Florida's economy, making up 99.7 percent of Florida's businesses; and
WHEREAS, in Florida, our state's nearly 521,000 small businesses employ 4.7 million people, 57.2 percent of the state's workforce, and serve as the engine of our economy; and
WHEREAS, Florida recognizes the integral role our state's small businesses play and the need for robust programs, resources, and partnerships to support their growth, and as such, prioritizes a culture of collaboration; and
WHEREAS, Enterprise Florida, Inc. (EFI), Florida's official statewide trade and promotion agency, helps to maintain a vibrant international business environment, attracting foreign investment to the state and supporting more than 51,000 small businesses which exported $23.8 billion worth of goods to foreign markets; and
WHEREAS, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) promotes economic prosperity for Florida's small businesses, administering programs that promote access to capital, technical assistance and business management training, as well as invaluable resources to the state's 521,000 small employers; and
WHEREAS, the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) efficiently and fairly licenses more than 1.6 million businesses and professionals, which promotes an open for business Florida, making it the best possible state to open and maintain a small business or begin a professional career; and
WHEREAS, the Florida Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) Network, which serves as the state's principal provider of small business assistance, and in 2021, delivered more than 157,000 hours of consulting to more than 18,000 small businesses, resulting in business owners securing over half a billion dollars in capital, securing more than $380 million in government contracts, impacting 28,930 jobs, increasing sales by over $4 billion, and creating 778 new businesses; and
WHEREAS, March 15, 2023, marks the seventh annual National SBDC Day, a celebration to raise awareness about the success and impact of our country's 33.2 million small businesses and the work of SBDCs nationally.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ron DeSantis, Governor of the State of Florida, do hereby extend greetings and best wishes to all observing March 15, 2023, as Florida Small Business Day at the Capitol.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of Florida to be affixed at Tallahassee, the Capitol, this 15th day of March, in the year two thousand twenty-three.
To view the complete proclamation, click here.