BROWARD COUNTY, FL --This morning, Florida Secretary of Transportation Kevin J. Thibault presented Port Everglades Chief Executive and Port Director Jonathan Daniels with $58.2 million in federal funding for seaport relief as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
“Throughout the pandemic, Port Everglades remained open while operating at a significant loss in revenue. As an essential transportation hub, Florida residents relied on the port for the shipments of critical goods including PPE, fuel and food,” Daniels said. “This relief package that Gov. DeSantis and Secretary Thibault delivered to the State’s ports will provide greatly needed funding to continue uninterrupted operations. Seaports are the lifeblood of the economy, and through the skilled labor at Port Everglades the supply chain will keep moving."
Port Everglades, a self-supporting Enterprise Fund of Broward County, FL government that does not rely on local tax dollars for operations, has suffered a 45 percent reduction in operating revenue when comparing the first nine months (October through June) of Fiscal Year 2021 to the same time period FY 2019 before the pandemic. The main impact to the Port’s revenue resulted from the pause in cruise travel which came to a complete standstill in mid-March 2020.
Governor Ron DeSantis announced in a statement: “Not only are Florida ports a key economic driver for their surrounding communities, but also for our state as a whole. From the cruise industry, to cargo, to supporting military operations, our ports provide nearly 1 million jobs for Floridians. This $250 million investment in our ports is a commitment to our future economic prosperity for generations to come.”
The check presentation was part of a press conference at Port Canaveral in Brevard County.
“The impact seaports have on every region in our state is enormous and, under the Governor’s leadership, the state continues to make key investments in our transportation network to keep our state moving forward and ensure that goods make it to consumers efficiently,” said Secretary Thibault. “The funding announced today will have lasting positive impacts and significantly assist our seaport partners, as well as their surrounding communities.”
The American Rescue Plan Act provides $350 billion to help states, counties, cities and tribal governments cover increased expenditures, replenish lost revenue and mitigate economic harm from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Port Everglades is the gateway for international trade and cruise vacations. Consistently ranked among the top three busiest cruise homeports in the world, Port Everglades is also one of the nation’s leading container ports and South Florida’s main seaport for receiving energy products including gasoline, jet fuel and alternative fuels.
For more information on Port Everglades, visit porteverglades.net or e-mail PortEverglades@broward.org.
MEDIA CONTACT: Ellen Kennedy
Port Everglades Business Development/Communications