October 21, 2020
Friday, May 10, 2013
Seamless economic development partnerships succeed in bringing 700 high-wage jobs to Lee County
ESTERO, FL (May 8, 2013) – Yesterday, the Hertz Corporation Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mark P. Frissora, Governor Rick Scott and Secretary of Commerce Gray Swoope were joined by a host of community leaders to announce that the Hertz Corporation will move its headquarters to Estero in Lee County, creating 700 high-wage jobs for Floridians and investing $68.75 million in capital in the region. The move is the latest in a string of competitive jobs wins for the state and is further proof that economic development is working in Florida.
“This announcement is incredibly important for Lee County, Southwest Florida and the entire state,” said Secretary of Commerce Gray Swoope, who also serves as president & CEO of Enterprise Florida, Inc. (EFI), the state’s principal economic development organization. “To have a Fortune 300 company, especially an industry leader like the Hertz Corporation, relocate its headquarters to Estero is a testament to EFI’s relentless pursuit of competitive economic development projects that benefit Florida’s communities and families.”
The announcement by the Hertz Corporation was the culmination of months of negotiations with the site selection consultant and the company. When Enterprise Florida and its economic development partners in the local communities pursue an economic development project like the Hertz Corporation, the state must demonstrate a compelling business case for the company. In the case of the Hertz Corporation, consolidating their corporate offices to one location will allow for increased efficiencies across the company. Additionally, access to the Florida travel and tourism population of almost 90 million people, will position the company for long-term growth. Lee County is a well-established travel destination, with easy access to other leading tourism markets including Orlando, Miami/Fort Lauderdale and Tampa/St Petersburg.
“We did not make the decision to relocate lightly. We want to know that Florida was not only attractive to us as a company but also for our employees,” said Mark P. Frissora, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Hertz Corporation. “Florida is a great place to run a business and raise a family and we are proud to be able to call this our new home.”
In addition to location, a key driver in the decision to choose Florida was the access to a vast and diverse talent pool, including 3,000 of the Hertz Corporation’s own employees as well as the existing talent in the state. According to Visit Florida, there are approximately one million employees in the state’s travel and tourism industry making the state a key leader for skilled workers.
Beyond the location and workforce consideration, Florida was able to utilize the tools provided by the Florida Legislature in the state’s economic toolkit including incentives that range from tax credits, tax refunds and workforce training reimbursement grants.
“When a company like the Hertz Corporation selects your state to relocate its headquarters, it means you’ve created a strong, attractive business climate,” said Brett Couch, Vice Chair of Enterprise Florida’s Board of Directors and Senior Executive Vice President/East Region President of Regions Bank. “I commend Secretary Swoope and his team for the strong performance Enterprise Florida has shown over the last two years. There is a renewed focus on economic development in the state and today’s announcement is a perfect example of the success we can expect to see in the future.”
The relocation is particularly meaningful for Lee County, an area of the nation among the hardest hit during the recession. According to data from the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Cape Coral-Ft. Myers metro area’s unemployment rate was 13.3 percent in January 2010, 1.6 percentage points higher than the state average. Since then, the region’s numbers have been steadily improving and the unemployment rate for the metro area was 6.8 percent in March 2013.
An opportunity like this is the reason Lee County established its’ incentive program. With payroll planned to exceed $70 million a year, this represents increased economic activity for existing local businesses with employees moving to the area and becoming engaged in the fabric of our community, our schools, and civic affairs. The recognition Lee County will enjoy as the home of Hertz, a Fortune 300 company, will only benefit our efforts to attract other, similar companies for decades to come,” said Jim Moore executive director of the Fort Myers Regional Partnership, Lee County’s Economic Development Office.
Job creation continues to be a priority for Governor Scott, as evidenced by recent economic development announcements from companies like Verizon, Northrop Grumman, Navy Federal Credit Union, Nanotherapeutics and Actavis. So far in 2013, Enterprise Florida has announced 55 economic development projects that are contracted to create nearly 7,600 new jobs and more $803 million in capital investment.
“We have more than 300 competitive projects currently being pursued by the business development team at Enterprise Florida. Some will be game-changers like the Hertz Corporation while others will create smaller numbers of jobs, but every one of them is important to our state and we will work hard to win them all,” said Secretary Swoope. “We’re excited about the future of economic development in Florida and look forward to being a part of many announcements like the one celebrated in Lee County.”
The project would not have been possible without a strong partnership at the state and local levels. Partners that helped made the project a success included Lee County, the Lee County Industrial Development Authority, Workforce Florida, the Southwest Florida Workforce Development Board, the Fort Myers Regional Partnership and Florida Power & Light.
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Enterprise Florida, Inc. (www.eflorida.com) is a partnership between Florida’s business and government leaders and is the principal economic development organization for the state of Florida. Enterprise Florida’s mission is to facilitate job growth for Florida’s businesses and citizens leading to a vibrant statewide economy. In pursuit of its mission, Enterprise Florida works closely with a statewide network of economic development partners and is funded both by the State of Florida and by private-sector businesses.