FRCA  |  Forward Newsletter  |  May 2019
Apalachee RPC Assists City of Sopchoppy

The City of Sopchoppy, a rural community in the Apalachee Region, was selected for the Department of Economic Opportunity's Competitive Florida Partnership Program for the 2018-19 fiscal year. The Apalachee RPC has been working on behalf of Sopchoppy to implement Competitive Florida activities, including stakeholder outreach, community workshops, asset-mapping, and creation of an Economic Development Strategy.

The resulting Economic Development Strategy will outline goals, strategies and projects to further economic and community development under a common vision:  Hometown, Handmade, Homegrown . The Competitive Florida Partnership Program has engaged diverse residents, business owners, and faith-based organizations in conversations on how to enhance community assets and identification of paths towards economic development that is consistent with needs of residents as well as the historical, cultural, and geographic context of the area. As a result of the grant program, the City of Sopchoppy intends to create an Economic Advisory Board to oversee implementation of the Economic Development Strategy and pursue a Florida Main Street designation.
Tampa Bay RPC Hosts Workshop on Financing Resilience

On May 1, 2019, the Tampa Bay RPC hosted an all-day workshop that focused on financing climate resilience and mitigation. The attendees, many from city and county governments in the Tampa Bay region, heard about ways to pay for renewable energy projects, how to reduce insurance risks, and how to attract more private investment. The main theme: Get comfortable with uncertainty.

The keynote speaker and Harvard Business School senior lecturer, John Macomber informed everyone to get used to making decisions using probabilities. For instance, is the chance of a weather event destroying a sewage plant in any given year two or four percent?  The answer could mean the difference between doing little or spending billions to relocate the facility.   Mr. Macomber emphasized to attendees the need to think like banks and insurance companies, which are constantly assessing risk. Probabilities are, by definition uncertain, but successful businesses use them regularly to inform their decision-making.   Focusing on risk and probabilities also helps move the conversation away from the debate about the existence of climate change and what's contributing to it. "This is a tool you can use with a lot of people to avoid taking the bait on an endless science argument," he said.
North Central Florida RPC Assists with EDA Funding 
for Santa Fe College
The Economic Development Administration awarded a $4.8 million grant to Santa Fe College in Gainesville to help re-build and expand the Santa Fe College Center for Innovation and Economic Development (CIED) at the Blount Center. The CIED serves early-stage startups across a broad spectrum of business sectors. The project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the North Central Florida RPC which is funded by EDA to bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment and create jobs.

The funding goes to a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act designated Opportunity Zone, which provides special incentives for further private sector participation and development. Created by President Donald J. Trump's Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Opportunity Zone designations spur economic development by giving tax incentives to investors in economically distressed communities nationwide. To learn more about the Opportunity Zone program, see the Treasury Department resources page here .

FRCA Partners Meetings Schedule

Listed below are the upcoming Partners Meetings hosted by FRCA throughout the year.  If you would like to attend or present at one of the Partners Meetings, please contact Denise Imbler  at dimbler@thearpc.com

June 13, 2019 1:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. FAC Conference, Orlando
October 28, 2019 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Future Florida Forum, Orlando
December 4, 2019 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. City Hall, Tallahassee
Contact: Denise Imbler  |  850.487.1426  |  flregionalcouncils.org