Mayor Deegan is trying to make it easier to do business here.  Good!

One of Mayor Deegan’s promises was she was going to make it easier to do business in Jacksonville.  Our former mayor and his consultants who surrounded him made it not just difficult to do business but almost impossible to do so at times.  That is one reason Jacksonville was bypassed by many developers and a file full of promising renderings never made it off the drawing board.

We understand the Mayor’s office is working on her promises and is evaluating ways to streamline the permitting process. We hope they get it done because recently Jacksonville made news in a business magazine and it wasn’t the kind of news we like to read.  In a January 2024 article in Shopping Center News, it stated,

“In addition to the shared stressors that have afflicted the market nationally, North Florida has faced its own, more locally specific obstacles as well. According to Walsh, the commercial real estate industry throughout the state has contended with difficult permitting timelines and construction delays. Colliers likewise cites permitting challenges as a particular issue in the Jacksonville market and across Northeast Florida.”

Ouch!!  That is tough to read. And embarrassing.

When Mayor Deegan fixes the permitting process, the following benefits will occur:

1.  We will attract entrepreneurs who bring innovation, which in turn drives competitiveness and economic diversification. Streamlined processes can lead to the rapid establishment of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which are crucial engines of job creation and economic resilience.

2.  We will see higher job creation rates. As businesses flourish, they expand their workforce, reducing unemployment and boosting local economies. The availability of more jobs can lead to an increase in wages and a higher standard of living, creating a cycle of prosperity that benefits all city residents.

3.  By making it easier to do business, Jacksonville can enhance our own revenue streams. Successful businesses contribute to city coffers through taxes and business fees, which in turn can be reinvested into community infrastructure, education, and public services, further enhancing the city’s appeal to potential new businesses.

4.  A straightforward and transparent business environment is attractive to external investors. Whether it’s venture capital for startups or significant funding for larger projects, investor confidence grows in cities known for their ease of doing business.

Mayor Deegan promised to get this issue fixed and we are counting on her and her team to get it done soon.  We hope the next article in a national magazine will be positive about doing business here and maybe the headline can be… “Jacksonville: Where Entrepreneurs are welcome and renderings get built.”

Billie Tucker Volpe

Billie Tucker Volpe Founder of Eye on Jacksonville and Leadership Consultant to CEOs/Executives.


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