New Florida TaxWatch Report Stresses the Importance of Manufacturing Supply Chains

This week, Florida TaxWatch (FTW) released “Supply Chain Resiliency in the Face of Economic Disruption: Connex Florida as a Platform for Resilience,” a report which analyzes the importance and influence of supply chains in today’s economy, highlighting the impact that major disruptions – like the unprecedented global pandemic – can have, while also presenting Connex Florida as a practical solution to supply chain resiliency going forward.

Florida TaxWatch President and CEO Dominic Calabro weighed in on the report on Tuesday.

“COVID-19 led to widespread economic shocks, including manufacturing shortages, production inefficiencies, and distribution channel delays. During the early stages, over 70 percent of supply chain leaders encountered shortages in their supplier base, and 75 percent experienced issues in production and distribution. This made the value of supply chains readily apparent to consumers and taxpayers across the state, the nation, and the world, resulting in a renewed sense of urgency to establish resiliency. Florida TaxWatch believes that Connex Florida’s ability to facilitate collaboration and connectivity is essential to accomplishing that goal,” said Calabro.

Connex Florida is the result of a collective partnership between FloridaMakes, the Associated Industries of Florida (AIF), and Space Florida. The online database is designed to help manufacturers better connect with prospective suppliers and develop business opportunities. It promotes supplier diversity within Florida and, more broadly, provides business leaders and policymakers with a unique opportunity to mitigate potential risk from both present and future crises. Currently, approximately 8,900 of the state’s more than 21,000 manufacturers are users in the system.

State Sen. Tom Wright, R-New Smyrna Beach, the chairman of the Florida Manufacturing and Supply Chain Caucus, praised Connex Florida.

“Connex will provide manufacturers a way to pivot to an alternate supply chain rather than having to start from scratch as supply chain disruptions occur. With the amount of small manufacturers established around the state, it is vital for supply chains to remain open for these manufacturers to continue producing their products for their families and the state of Florida,” Wright said.

“The Connex Florida platform provides manufacturers with Florida operations more, cheaper and better options to improve their supply chain, provide them resiliency during disasters, find new customers for their products and repurpose their capabilities to adjust to market demands. It is an indispensable tool to modernize supply chains and grow Florida’s manufacturing economy,” said former U.S. Rep. Tom Feeney, the president and CEO of AIF.

“Recent events have revealed both vulnerabilities and opportunities for Florida’s economic future. Connex Florida provides powerful new networks and tools to Florida industry in an ever-competitive global marketplace. Space Florida is excited about the more integrated industrial capability that Connex brings to Florida employers and consumers,” said Space Florida President and CEO Frank DiBello said.



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