Biz Rules

By Beau Denton February 29, 2012

IN THE ZONE: Enterprise Zone maps available at and Sarasota counties are home to three of Florida’s 59 Enterprise Zones. Administered by the Governor’s Office of Tourism, Trade and Economic Development, the Florida Enterprise Zone (EZ) program is intended to spark entrepreneurism and business growth in low income areas by offering incentives for businesses that add new jobs, relocate, renovate or update machinery and equipment.

If a business is located in the EZ and adds a new job, that business could receive a state sales tax refund worth at least 20 percent of the new employee’s salary for two years—as long as that employee also lives in the EZ. A business could also receive refunds for 6 percent of taxes paid for new machinery or, after building or renovating, 6 percent of the difference between the property value before and after construction.

Dru Jones, Economic Development Coordinator at the City of Sarasota’s Newtown Redevelopment Office, says, “One of the top ways to create jobs is new businesses,” and the Florida Enterprise program also waives impact fees for construction in the zone. The Broadway Promenade Publix, opened in 2007, took advantage of the EZ program, and the upcoming Wal-Mart Marketplace at U.S. 41 and Myrtle Street will be another participant.

To view a map of local Enterprise Zones, visit or

If your business is located in those areas, or if you are considering relocating, contact your local government office (, or to find out more. For more information on the program and how to apply, visit


“If I were thinking of the national economy as a love interest, I’d say she’s been rather frisky lately, but I’m wary of being jilted.”

Dennis P. Lockhart, president and CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, at New Topics New College in February.



“If just one in three microenterprises hired a single employee, the U.S. would be at full employment.”

Source: Association for Enterprise Opportunity
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