TALLAHASSEE, Fla. 4-25-13
A Florida organization in charge of attracting new businesses to the state is finding itself without some critical funding.
Enterprise Florida brought about a new logo and branding campaign to entice new business to the state but that got some women's groups upset.
The logo reads "Florida: The Perfect Climate For Business." Except the business seems to be aimed at only men. The "i" is replaced by a necktie.
"It looks pretty male-oriented," said Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda (D).
This week the Florida Senate decided to cut ties with funding the logo and withdrew the $1.5 million line-item.
"I think that these are the kinds of, sort of, slight signals that we send that then build up over time."
Enterprise Florida released this statement to WCTV.
"As far as the most recent action to remove the brand funding from the budget, we continue to be excited about Florida’s first business brand, which promotes our state as a top business destination. The brand sets the tone for the ongoing economic development efforts that Governor Scott, the state of Florida, Enterprise Florida and others engage in every day. Just as we work hard each day to bring more companies and jobs to Florida, we will forge ahead in our efforts to obtain the funding and resources so this campaign reaches decision-makers who could choose Florida as a place to do business. This includes ongoing pursuit of legislative funding until the current session concludes.
The branding initiative is a strategic way for Florida to position and market itself globally as a business destination. The brand serves as a common thread from which all the state’s economic development organizations, agencies and businesses can showcase Florida as a super-state and highlight key attributes - from key industries to our ports to our skilled workforce. It’s critical that the Florida story becomes widely known so we can continue to produce more jobs and industry to serve those who live and work in our state."
"If it sends a signal that we're not inclusive then by all means we need to change it," said Sen. Bill Montford. "I don't think there was any ill-intent at all."
Enterprise Florida is a public-private partnership.