TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Gov. Scott’s Securing Florida’s Future budget recommends $154 million to support the continued commitment of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) to make Florida the best place for businesses and job creators. Gov. Scott’s budget also supports DBPR’s overall mission to license efficiently and regulate fairly, allowing Florida businesses and professionals to succeed and create jobs for future generations of Floridians.
Gov. Scott said, “Over the past seven years we have fought to make Florida more business-friendly and worked to cut more than 5,000 burdensome regulations. This has helped Florida businesses create more than 1.3 million new jobs across the state and we will not slow down our efforts to make Florida the best place for job creators and families to succeed. I am proud to announce these investments today, which will help make sure the state can continue to efficiently welcome new businesses and opportunities to Florida.”
Jonathan Zachem, DBPR Secretary, said, “Under Governor Scott’s guidance, we’ve worked hard to improve efficiency and reduce burdensome regulations for the more than one million businesses and professionals licensed by DBPR. One of our proudest achievements this year was the launch of the Business Information Portal at www.OpenMyFloridaBusiness.gov. The new site takes prospective business owners step-by-step through starting a new business in Florida.”
Gov. Scott’s Securing Florida’s Future budget includes:
- Unlicensed Activity Awareness: The budget proposes continuing $2.2 million to combat unlicensed activity. DBPR will continue to proactively seek out unlicensed activity while educating the public about the need to only hire licensed professionals. In Fiscal Year 2016-2017, the Division of Regulation performed 726 sweeps, 41 undercover enforcement operations and 797 outreach events to educate Floridians about the importance of hiring licensed professionals and the dangers unlicensed individuals pose.
- License application processing: In 2016, DBPR processed 365,854 applications – 74,571 more than when Gov. Scott took office in 2011 – without any additional staffing. The budget proposes continuing $8.2 million for the Central Intake Unit, which processes an average of 7,000 applications each week. Additionally, over 99.5% of license-renewal applications were completed online. This allows department licensees to renew in real time and get to work more quickly.
- Food safety: DBPR’s Division of Hotels and Restaurants’ inspection practices enable the division to communicate more effectively to licensees in a pro-business manner. The Division works to be transparent with the public on the results of an inspection, which are published in real time on the DBPR website and DBPR Mobile App. The budget proposes continuing $21.7 million to allow the division to continue to protect the health and safety of Floridians and guests to the state while implementing regulations that make good business sense for Florida’s 96,847 food service and lodging establishments.
Carol Dover, President and CEO of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, said, “We appreciate Gov. Scott’s continued investment in the health and safety of Florida’s consumers and visitors. Tourism is essential to Florida’s economy and, thanks to DBPR’s Division of Hotels and Restaurants, Florida continues to lead in food safety and innovation.“
Scott Shalley, President and CEO of the Florida Retail Federation, said, “Floridians are feeling more optimistic and confident in our improving economy. We applaud Gov. Scott and DBPR for continually identifying ways of helping Florida’s retailers and businesses grow and succeed.”
Bill Martin, CEO of the Florida Realtors, said, “Gov. Scott has always focused on job growth for Florida’s real estate professionals and businesses. I applaud the governor and DBPR for their efforts to ensure Floridians can get to work more quickly.”