Jacksonville governor signs bill to enhance city's economic development

It might take time for any housing market to develop and expand in this economy, so Jacksonville officials are working together in a collaborative effort to raise interest in the city. Florida Governor Rick Scott signed a bill in April 2012 to give the city's Mayor, Alvin Brown, more authority over the Jacksonville Economic Development Commission (JEDC). This could help Brown alter the JEDC to promote economic development, which may raise interest in the homes for sale in Jacksonville.

"Governor Scott understands how important it is that we streamline government and partner with the business community to grow the economy and create jobs," Brown said in a recent statement.

Brown suggested modifying the JEDC on March 27, 2012, when he released a plan to reform the city's economic development structure. Understanding the specifics of this initiative could provide insight into how the mayor intends to promote job growth and rejuvenate the downtown area.

Job creation
With this plan, Brown intends to speed up the process of approving development incentives by limiting the number of City Council meetings required for approval. Bills that might have taken weeks or months to implement could be instituted sooner as a result.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Jacksonville had an unemployment rate of 8.3 percent in March 2012. While the national rate was 8.1 percent during the period, the city can boast improved jobless figures between November 2011 and March 2012, as it has seen a 1.2 percent drop during that time.

The City Council features a group of local residents and was designed to accept measures that could positively impact Jacksonville. After the governor's decision, this group could put bills relating to job development into action more rapidly.

Revitalize the downtown
Businesses in downtown Jacksonville, and Brown proposed transforming the Downtown Investment Authority (DIA) and JEDC to focus on this region. The new bill changes the DIA into a nine-member board, and each representative must be appointed by the mayor and approved by the City Council. Meanwhile, the DIA and JEDC will work together to develop strategies to assist businesses and residents in the downtown area, which may help improve the local economy.

The University of Richmond notes that downtown revitalization is necessary in many cities because it creates jobs, increases property values and has the potential to become a symbol of pride in a community. Jacksonville may display downtown enhancements that make it an attractive place to live and visit thanks to the work of its local officials.