The economy in Florida isn’t just jobs, jobs, jobs, says Dale Brill, the former president of the Florida Chamber of Commerce Foundation and the Governor’s Office of Tourism, Trade and Economic Development.
During a keynote speech at the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance Six Pillars breakfast at Broward College, Brill explained how nearly 81 percent of Floridians work in occupations whose average wages haven’t kept up with inflation since 2010.
In contrast, the average tax return in the state spiked from $80,875 for 2010-11
to $293,931 for 2012-13. “We are gentrifying the state,” he said.
The county’s pillars of economic development strategy need to go beyond industries to shining a light on problems that impact families, said Brill, who now leads the consulting firm Thinkspot.
A panel also shared insights from a trip to Austin, Texas, which has a vibrant tech economy.
The city celebrates risk taking and the fact that it’s OK to fail, said Jennifer Bales Drake, a shareholder at Becker & Poliakoff. One effective economic development tool is Capital Factory, an Austin-based incubator/accelerator that hosted more than 32,000 people in the entrepreneurial field last year. The city has a robust group of investors and matching funds that can unlock hundreds of thousands of dollars in investments, Drake said.