A bill from Florida’s recent legislative session could save local businesses significant amounts of time and money. Through House Bill 5501, the state legislature allocated $3 million for the Department of Revenue to develop a “One Stop” business portal for small business records and licensing.
Leticia Adams, director of infrastructure and governance policy with the Florida Chamber of Commerce, says that when government agencies asked small business owners about impediments to growing their companies, one common issue was the need to fill out paperwork multiple times for different departments and agencies. “They’re filing the same paperwork over and over,” says Adams, “and making the same payments for that paperwork.”
Through the One Stop portal, businesses will have one location for submitting forms and applications. That saves time on the annual process of renewing licenses, registrations and permits, and it makes updating records (like an address change) a much simpler task. “This is going to cut down on time and fees and will make the information more uniform ,” says Adams, who adds that the idea is “ultimately geared toward new businesses that will be able to set up licensing, vendor permitting and tax information, all in one place at one time.”
The Department of Revenue plans to have the portal live by January 2013. Participating agencies include the Department of State, Department of Management Services, Department of Financial Services, Department of Lottery, and Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
“The city is spinning its wheels looking for a hotel. It needs to pick one. You’ve got two good candidates, but it’s going to take public investment to make it happen. Maybe $5 million to $10 million. You will not regret it.”
Larry Fineberg, senior vice president at Benderson Development Company, who spoke about commercial development potential in downtown Sarasota at the Assignment Downtown Council luncheon on March 20.
The number of uninsured in Manatee and Sarasota.*
*Number includes everyone under age 65.
Source: 2009 Census