Florida Ranks Number One in Quality of Living Environment, Edges Closer to Becoming the Best State for Business
More than 500 CEOs surveyed by Chief Executive Magazine agree that businesses succeed in Florida
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.– Today, Governor Rick Scott celebrated Florida’s first place ranking in quality of living environment, taking the top spot from Texas, according to Chief Executive Magazine. This year Florida’s business climate continued to improve, and is closer to becoming the best state in the nation for business. Florida took over the second spot in 2013 and continues to gain ground on top-ranked Texas.
Governor Scott said, “This news is proof that our efforts to create the ideal business climate in Florida have paid off. This survey serves as proof that our efforts to cut taxes on manufacturing machinery and equipment will attract more jobs to the Sunshine State. Since taking office, we have worked to remove nearly 3,000 regulations on small businesses, paid down $3.6 billion in state debt and our unemployment rate stands at 6.3 percent, down from 11 percent in 2010. While more than 563,000 private-sector jobs have been added to our economy since December 2010, we know there’s still work to do. We will keep working to create an opportunity economy and to make Florida the best state in the nation for business.”
According to the rankings, Florida is on an upward trend, with the elimination of the machinery equipment and sales tax noted as an economic driver. Florida was also chosen as one of the best states for startups, and its lack of an income tax and low unemployment-insurance taxes helped the state to a No. 5 ranking by the Tax Foundation.
More than 500 CEOs from across the U.S. voted in the survey. Respondents were asked to rank the best states for business based on a range of measures, from strength of workforce to taxation and regulatory climate to quality of life.
According to Chief Executive Magazine, economists who created the Fraser Institute’s Economic Freedom of North America index examined state economic growth from 1981 to 2009. They found that if a state adopts fiscal and regulatory policies sufficient to improve its economic freedom score by one point, it can expect unemployment to drop by 1.3 percentage points and labor-force participation to rise by 1.9 percentage points. Under the leadership of Governor Scott, Florida has implemented those policies to allow companies to become more profitable, hire more employees and find long-term success.
Secretary of Commerce and president & CEO of Enterprise Florida, Gray Swoope said, “This important recognition validates the work we are all doing to expand and diversify the state’s economy. Florida makes a very compelling case as a state that businesses and site selectors must look at for location and expansion opportunities. In addition to numerous other competitive projects, Florida won 12 game-changing projects in 2013 that will bring more than 9,300 new jobs and nearly $1.2 billion in capital investment to the state over the next several years. Florida has a great business story and we are laser-focused on telling companies nationwide know why they should be doing business here.”
Beyond the rankings, Florida has clearly demonstrated its increased competitiveness in the economic development landscape. From 2010 through 2013, Florida has seen a dramatic rise in the numbers that measure success for competitive projects with a 23 percent increase in 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. Florida has been placed prominently on the business map with announcements by such companies as Verizon, Hertz, Amazon, Bristol-Myers Squibb, USAA, Navy Federal Credit Union and Deutsche Bank, demonstrating a confidence in the state’s workforce, infrastructure and tax policies.
Enterprise Florida, Inc. (EFI) is a partnership between Florida’s businesses and government leaders and is the principal economic development organization for the state of Florida. EFI facilitates job growth for Florida businesses through recruitment and retention, international trade and exporting, promotion of sporting events, and capital funding programs to assist small and minority businesses.