July 19, 2019
Monday, June 15, 2015
For the fourth year in a row, Florida has earned its spot as one of the nation’s best states for business. In its 11th annual Best and Worst States for Business survey, Chief Executive Magazine asked more than 500 CEO’s to share their views on conducting business across the country, evaluating critical metrics like taxes and regulations, workforce talent and quality of life.
Florida has emerged as one of the top states with the total package, enticing CEO’s with its pro-growth business climate, diverse workforce and exceptional quality of life. As the state continues to focus on creating jobs and facilitating the relocation and expansion of major corporations like Northrop Grumman, Amazon and Embraer, Florida edges closer to the number one spot.
Recognized as the best tax climate in the Southeast by the Tax Foundation, Florida earns major CEO points for giving companies the financial breathing room they need to expand. While the state is best known for having a 5.5 percent corporate tax rate and no personal income tax, Florida also issues tax credits for labor and equipment used for R&D. It’s a smart move that promotes innovation as well as the growth of the technology industry, which is becoming an increasingly important driver of Florida’s growth. Overall, Florida companies face relatively few operational obstacles, thanks to streamlined regulations, expedited permitting and lower operating costs across the board.
CEOs have also given Florida high marks in workforce quality. At 9.7 million strong, Florida’s talent pool is robust, diverse and consistently ranked as one of the best in the nation. Additionally, nearly five million Florida residents speak a foreign language, contributing to a multilingual workforce that underscores the state’s appeal as an international business hub. For companies like Lockheed Martin, the largest private employer in the state, Florida’s substantial former and active military population is another prized asset, providing employers with a readymade workforce already equipped with the training, expertise and security clearance to hit the ground running. All industries benefit from the statewide emphasis on creating strategic partnerships between academia and industry, which has lead to a specialized talent pipeline that companies can draw from now and in the future.
Florida surpassed its Lone Star rival in the quality of life category, which takes into account factors ranging from housing affordability to education quality. On top of Florida’s ideal climate, residents enjoy one of the most affordable lifestyles in the country with vacation like amenities like world class beaches and golf courses. Educational attainability is another major plus. With more than 170 public and private universities, colleges and technical schools, all Florida residents live within 50 miles of a post secondary institution. Evidently, it’s not just CEOs who have taken notice. Ranked #2 for domestic migration, Florida gained 105,411 new residents in 2014 alone.
Ultimately, Chief Executive’s survey results make one thing very clear: CEO’s favor low-tax, pro-growth states, and those states are growing more as a result. “Florida is making all the right moves as a great place to work and live,” responded one CEO. A quick look at Florida’s numbers tells the same story. Between 2010 and 2014, Florida has seen a 23 percent increase in the number of development projects won, a 91-percent increase in new jobs associated with projects and a 133 percent increase in capital investment being brought to Florida’s communities. View the full survey results at Chief Executive and learn more about Florida’s Perfect Climate for Business here.