Fla. Lawmakers Have Plan to Get Businesses Hiring

If you're looking for personal service, Rafael Marte sure has it. But at his 'La Tiendita' convenience store, it's customers that are in short supply.

"Ah, every day's a little bit more slow," he said. "There are a lot of people that are gone already."

Gone because they've been laid off, left without the income to buy a lottery ticket or even a six-pack of beer. Getting them back on the job is key to reviving Rafael's business, and a brand-new bill by democratic state Senator Jeremy Ring aims to do exactly that.

Ring's proposed 'Floridians Back to Work Program' would give companies a $2,000 subsidy for hiring an unemployed worker. Fellow democrat Bill Montford is already on board.

"This is a good investment," Montford said. "This is a way, you're talking about kick-starting the economy, you're talking about lowering unemployment, you're talking about getting businesses back in the black - let's do it."

It's become a common complaint among Florida's entrepreneurs. The sour economy, combined with a higher cost of doing business, have made their prospects of hiring new employees anything but ripe.

So in Washington and now Tallahassee, incentivizing jobs has become the order of the day. Still, there's no guarantee it'll work.

Rafael could use a new employee, but with the burden of payroll taxes, not even two grand would make hiring one affordable.

"I think that those $2,000 will not help me," he said. "It will help the state, the government, the city, to collect more taxes in the long run."

A government that, by the way, is itself in the red, making paying for those subsidies difficult at best.

Under the legislation, businesses would only get a subsidy if the worker hired made less than $15 an hour at their previous job.


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