TribBlog: Texas Spends $1.4 Million to Friend Facebook (Updated)
The Texas Enterprise Fund will dole out money to the social networking site for new operations in Austin.
The news release that came over a few minutes ago reads: “Governor Perry Makes Economic Development Announcement on Facebook.”
He meant it literally, apparently. Perry’s Texas Enterprise Fund — which he calls a vital investment tool, and his critics call wasteful corporate welfare — will dole out $1.4 million to Facebook, the company. (Perry did in fact make the announcement on his office’s Facebook page, as well.) Facebook, in turn, promises jobs for Austin.
Perry’s office is apparently down with the shorter-is-better ethic of social media publishing. The entire release:
AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today announced that the state will invest $1.4 million through the Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF) in Facebook for the creation of a sales and operations office in Austin. This investment will create 200 jobs and more than $3.1 million in capital investment. The TEF funding is conditioned upon the finalization of a local incentive agreement with the City of Austin.
Updated: Perry just released a more detailed news release on the state's proposed deal with Facebook. Here is the full announcement:
AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today announced on the Governor’s Office Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/TexasGovernor) that the state will invest $1.4 million through the Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF) for Facebook to create a sales and operations office in Austin. This investment will create 200 jobs and more than $3.1 million in capital investment. The TEF funding is conditioned upon the finalization of a local incentive agreement with the City of Austin.
“The TEF continues to be a critical, deal closing tool for Texas, helping to attract jobs and businesses and grow our state’s diverse economy,” Gov. Perry said. “Facebook’s expansion in Austin will enhance the area’s robust technology industry, create 200 jobs for Texans, and strengthen the economy in Central Texas.”
Facebook is a social networking service that enables 400 million people around the world to communicate more efficiently with friends, family and coworkers in a trusted environment. This office represents the first major U.S. expansion outside of Palo Alto, Calif., where the company is headquartered.
“We’ve been exploring various options around the U.S. to establish an additional online sales and operations office and we’re grateful to the assistance we've received from the Governor’s office and the state’s leadership in discussing the possibilities in Austin,” Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said. “Facebook continues to grow and Austin, with its deep talent pool, would allow us to hire the high-caliber employees we need to properly serve the people, advertisers and developers that rely on our service.”
At Gov. Perry’s request, the legislature created the TEF in 2003 and re-appropriated funding in 2005, 2007 and 2009 to help ensure the growth of Texas businesses and create more jobs throughout the state. TEF projects must be approved by the governor, lieutenant governor and speaker of the House. The fund has since become one of the state’s most competitive tools to recruit and bolster business. To date, the TEF has invested more than $388.6 million and closed the deal on projects generating nearly 52,000 new jobs and more than $14.3 billion in capital investment in the state.
For more information about the TEF, please visit http://www.texaswideopenforbusiness.com/financial-resources/texas-enterprise-fund.html orwww.governor.state.tx.us.
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