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Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability

GrowFL Participants that Received Multiple Services and Met Eligibility Requirements Experienced Higher Growth, Report No. 12-14, December 2012
 
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  • The 2009 Legislature created the Florida Economic Gardening Technical Assistance Pilot Program (GrowFL) to stimulate investment in Florida's economy by providing technical assistance to expanding businesses. The University of Central Florida’s Economic Gardening Institute implemented the program using state funding totaling $3.5 million.
  • GrowFL experienced several implementation obstacles, including difficulty attracting participants and assessing companies’ eligibility. Consequently, the program served a significant number of ineligible companies and was unable to determine eligibility for many others.
  • Our analysis found that companies that received multiple services were more likely to grow after pilot program participation, and most of our survey respondents found GrowFL services helpful. We also found that eligible companies were more likely to increase employees and wages than those that did not meet the program’s statutory eligibility requirements. In addition, our statistical modeling showed that eligible program participants had greater than predicted employment growth in one of three quarters in 2011, with no statistically significant difference in the other two quarters.
  • During the course of our review, GrowFL took several steps to address our concerns about program implementation and eligibility determination. However, we recommend that future contracts with the Economic Gardening Institute include additional provisions to improve program reporting and assessment.

Which Government Program Summaries contain related information?

Department of Economic Opportunity
Strategic Business Development

What other OPPAGA-related materials are available?

Copies of this report in print or alternate accessible format may be obtained by telephone (850/488-0021), by FAX (850/487-9213), in person, or by mail (OPPAGA Report Production, Claude Pepper Building, Room 312, 111 W. Madison St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-1475).
e-mail address: oppaga@oppaga.fl.gov


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