Economic development and tourism continue to be major priorities. Port Everglades, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau are major economic engines for Broward County.
A Targeted Industries Study, released in 2010, evaluated the growth potential of existing industries and assessed opportunities for recruiting high growth, new and emerging industries likely to create high-wage, high skilled job opportunities. In the last fiscal year, $167.1 million in new capital investment was made by targeted industry companies, which translates into direct benefits for residents and local governments.
On the global front, the Office of Economic and Small Business Development hosted six inbound trade missions from Peru, Colombia, Costa Rica, Korea, China and the United Kingdom. Six outbound trade missions were completed to Japan, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Korea and China. Countries from all over the world participate in these missions seeking new business locations and joint venture partners. Approximately $133.5 million in foreign direct investment was generated for FY 2010, which represents five new companies and jobs for approximately 630 local residents.
To extend Broward’s global business reach even further, the County conducted seven export and “Doing Business” seminars, involving more than 150 firms, to encourage and develop export business in lucrative markets such as Latin America and East Asia. Training in global trade was presented to 40 Broward-based marine industry firms, a targeted industry, through a grant from Workforce Florida, Inc.
Locally, small businesses were targeted through a variety of seminars, workshops and forums on how to do business with Broward County. As a result of technical assistance, compliance training and certification programs, more small and community business enterprises are able to secure business with Broward County Government, as well as other local jurisdictions and private sector firms. In FY2010, Broward County awarded $83 million in contracts to certified small business firms.Port Everglades
Despite the global economic downturn, Port Everglades remains an economic powerhouse, generating approximately $14 billion in business activity and 143,000 jobs statewide. The Port moved forward with nine capital improvement projects that have the potential to create 3,246 construction jobs and generate $239.5 million in state and local taxes.
The largest single-ship cruise terminal in the world, to serve the two largest and most revolutionary cruise ships in the world, officially opened on time and under budget. Port Everglades is the cruise ship capital of the world with 15 cruise lines and more than 50 cruise ships. More than 3.3 million multi-day cruise guests sailed to and from Port Everglades in the last fiscal year, representing a 17 percent increase. This industry accounts for thousands of jobs and contributes to local economic activity through personal income and tax dollars.
Broward County and Carnival Corporation signed a 15-year agreement that provides for an average of 1.7 million passengers annually that will further boost record-setting attendance figures at the Port and provide one-half billion dollars in Port revenue over the terms of the agreement. In addition, four existing cruise terminals will be renovated creating an estimated 620 new construction jobs over the next three years.
The expansion of containerized cargo capacity continues. SeaFreight was awarded a 10-year cargo terminal lease for a new 25-acre facility that is expected to generate 320 construction jobs and create 15 percent more containerized cargo capacity at the Port. The project is part of a 41-acre cargo terminal capital project nearing completion. The guaranteed value of this agreement to Port Everglades, including rent, over the 10-year lease period, will grow from $2.4 million to $4.1 million annually.
A new $11.5 million bridge for cargo trucks, funded in part through Florida Department of Transportation grants, now connects areas previously separated by a canal and two security checkpoints, and allows truckers to more conveniently move within restricted areas after going through an initial security checkpoint.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection approved the Port’s proposal to create a new, larger mangrove wetland habitat, and released a portion of an existing conservation easement that will be used to create new berths to accommodate larger cargo ships.Tourism
In 2010, Greater Fort Lauderdale hosted 10.3 million visitors with an economic impact of more than $8.2 billion, employing more than 123,800 people. Total 2010 fiscal year-to-date tourist tax revenues are up 1.5 percent from FY 2009, with overall tourist tax collections at $33.8 million.
The healthy growth of tourism is due in part to Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau’s international focus and commitment to diversity. The destination attracts meetings, family reunions and amateur sports groups, as well as gay/lesbian visitors, international and U.S. visitors who can all enjoy a value vacation product with low air fares and SUNsational® customer service.
Greater Fort Lauderdale hosted more than 300 sports events with a local economic impact of $100 million. South Florida also hosted the Pro Bowl and Super Bowl XLIV, with the NFL and media headquartered in Broward County.
The Broward Film Commission, now part of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, completed more than 98 projects representing $24 million in economic impact to Broward County. The new television drama Glades, set in South Florida and filmed in Broward County, generated $17.8 million in economic impact.Airport
The Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) has a $2.7 billion annual impact on our community. More than 21.8 million passengers traveled through FLL, a 4.4 percent increase over last year. To meet the needs of the traveling public, FLL remains focused on public safety, operational excellence and customer service.
Airport safety measures were furthered with the deployment of new passenger screening equipment in the terminals. Airline services were expanded to include two new airlines: Aires Airlines, a Colombia-based airline, and Condor Airlines, a German-based airline.
The Federal Aviation Administration accepted the airport’s updated Master Plan. Design contracts for Terminal 4 improvements and the South Runway Expansion project were executed, and construction of wetlands mitigation at West Lake Park was initiated. An $8.5 million noise mitigation grant was received. The Noise Pilot Program Outreach Center was opened and the noise pilot program initiated. The South Runway Expansion will generate an estimated 11,000 jobs over the four-year life of the project.
A redesigned Web Site, www.fll.net, makes it easier for passengers and residents to access information about FLL, including flights, fares, parking and terminal services. The site is available in more than 50 languages.