Enterprise Florida, Inc. (EFI) is proud to highlight the following successes and accomplishments of 2022 under the leadership of Governor Ron DeSantis. As the Governor kept our state open and protected our residents’ rights to earn a living, Florida’s economy continued to grow in 2022 providing jobs and opportunities in all of our state’s communities. Enterprise Florida continues to support the Governor by showcasing Florida as the leading state for economic development and the best place to invest, live, and work.
“When it comes to job creation, Florida has everything in place to support businesses of all sizes as they invest and grow,” said Florida Deputy Secretary of Commerce Laura DiBella. “With the strong and focused leadership of Governor DeSantis and the hard work of the Enterprise Florida team members around the state and around the world, the impact of this year’s successes will pay off for generations as all sectors of our state’s economy continue to grow and provide opportunities for all Floridians to pursue their dreams.”
- Florida is the best state in the nation in attracting and developing a skilled workforce,
- Florida has the lowest unemployment rate amongst the ten largest states; and
- Florida has led the nation in new business formations since January 2020.
MARKETING FLORIDA AS THE BEST PLACE FOR BUSINESS
- EFI ran its ‘Built for Opportunity’ Awareness Campaign to showcase how businesses and communities have prospered because of Florida’s forward-thinking leadership, open economy, and business-friendly environment. These highlights include diverse industries such as tourism, agriculture, and transportation, as well as Florida’s manufacturing industry. The campaign ran throughout the country and generated more than 290 million impressions. Retro Fitness, a company featured in the campaign, was one of many companies that moved its headquarters to Florida as a result of strong leadership and policies. In addition to the Built for Opportunity campaign, EFI continued its “Florida – The Future is Here” campaign, which garnered more than 114 million impressions.
HELPING FLORIDA BUSINESSES LAUNCH, EXPAND AND REACH INTERNATIONAL MARKETS
- In calendar year 2022, EFI successfully enabled, competed for and accelerated 54 company relocations/expansions, with a projected 7,968 jobs and $1.28 billion in capital investment (12,564 jobs and $2.5 billion in state fiscal year 2021-2022). Some notable projects include Santander Consumer Finance creating 875 jobs in Pasco County, Dassault Falcon Jet creating 500 jobs in Brevard County, and Paysafe Payment Solutions creating 670 jobs in Duval County.
- In 2022, EFI’s global network of International Offices and foreign direct investment team secured 40 investment projects by foreign companies locating or expanding in Florida, with a total capital investment of $231 million and creating nearly 3,500 high-paying jobs for Floridians. Capital investment was 2.3 times higher than the previous year, reflecting the desire of companies to locate in a vibrant business environment.
- EFI’s International Trade & Development team conducted more than 3,800 export consultations with more than 2,200 Florida-based companies in 58 counties in 2022. Nearly 300 companies received trade grants while another 560 participated in virtual and in-person trade events. Most Florida-based companies EFI works with are smaller manufacturers in targeted industries that pay higher than average wages, securing better jobs for Floridians.
- EFI conducted three in-person trade missions, 10 educational webinars on new markets and exporting best practices, 10 overseas trade shows, and participated in a Florida Seaports Mission to Mexico. These events will help Florida earn a record amount of total merchandise trade in 2022 reaching $190 billion driven by incredible demand for Florida goods and services and having the most favorable business environment in America.
- In July, Lt. Governor Jeanette Nuñez led EFI’s trade delegation to the Farnborough International Airshow outside of London. Florida’s delegation included partners from industries as well as Space Florida, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and others. Seventeen Florida-based companies shared their products and services at the Florida pavilion and reported more than $77 million in expected export sales for the show which is a new record for our state.
- In September, Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Jared W. Perdue, P.E. led Florida’s delegation to Panama with five major Florida seaports. Sixteen Florida-based companies also came to Panama on the mission and secured more than $88 million in export sales for the four-day visit.
- In November, EFI led Florida’s involvement with SEUS Japan as this prestigious event was hosted for the first time by the Sunshine State in 16 years. The 44th Joint Meeting held in Orlando featured more than 70 representatives from Japan and 240 representatives from Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina, with more than 100 representatives from Florida alone.
- In November, EFI hosted the Florida Pavilion at Medica in Germany. Medica is the world’s largest medical trade show, and the 27 Florida exhibitors who attended experienced incredible success. These Florida businesses reported actual sales of $103,870,000 and expected sales of $103,675,000, totaling over $207 million in export sales – a record for any trade show in EFI’s history. The Florida pavilion is also a huge billboard to life sciences companies from around the world encouraging investment in Florida. Over 60 business development and Foreign Direct Investment leads came directly from the show.
- Enterprise Florida has worked collaboratively with rural communities, providing more than $462,000 in economic development grants through EFI’s Rural Expansion Toolkit, supporting strategic planning, marketing, and site development.
- Ensuring all Florida businesses have equal access to economic growth, EFI’s Minority and Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Capital (MaSBEC) programs helped to create the Minority & Small Business Boot Camp 2.0. With statewide partners, more than 2,000 minority and small businesses throughout Florida received support and information integral for growth and success.
SUPPORTING MILITARY BASES, FAMILIES & MISSIONS
- Florida’s defense industry consistently ranks as one of the most critical economic drivers in the state with an annual economic impact of nearly $100 billion – an increase of $2 billion over the past two years – with more than 860,000 direct and indirect jobs. Florida’s defense industry remains one of the largest and most vibrant in the nation and is a stabilizing force for the Florida communities that are honored to be the home of our military installations. Continued investment related to the military is another sign of Florida’s critical role in national defense.
- In Fiscal Year 2021-22, the Air Force selected MacDill Air Force Base in Hillsborough County to host the final 24 active-duty KC-46 Tanker aircraft.
- Boeing began construction of a new Aircraft Repair Complex in Jacksonville with a new 370,000-square-foot maintenance, repair and overhaul facility at Cecil Airport.
- Naval Station Mayport received a new helicopter squadron.
- Maritime Strike Squadron and the Navy awarded a contract for 36 additional TH-73A training helicopters to be based at Naval Air Station Whiting Field.
- Tyndall Air Force Base awarded contracts worth more than $558 million as it continues growing into the “Base of the Future” that will accept 72 F-35 fighter aircraft beginning in the fall of 2023.
- Eglin Air Force Base received $93 million in military construction funding for initial planning and engineering of a Weapons Technology Integration Center (WTIC), ongoing development of the Advanced Munitions Technology Complex (AMTC), a flight line fire station at Duke Field near Crestview, and for construction of a two-bay hangar to serve developmental testing and operational testing needs of F-35s.
- Using Fiscal Year 2021-22 funds, the Florida Defense Support Task Force (FDSTF) awarded $1.6 million through the Task Force Grant Program for defense projects statewide.
- City of Jacksonville Military Affairs and Veterans Department ($500,000) – For encroachment protection/compatible land use for Naval Station Mayport, Naval Air Station Jacksonville and Outlying Field Whitehouse.
- Clay County Development Authority ($500,000) – To buffer Camp Blanding from incompatible land development.
- Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast ($200,000) – For a Feasibility Study for Cape Canaveral Space Force Station Regional Wastewater Treatment.
- Matrix Design Group ($150,000) – To assess the scope of resiliency projects in defense-dependent communities and create an inventory of projects capable of receiving Federal Funding through several defense-related grant programs.
- The Roosevelt Group ($117,000) – To assess the U.S. Air Force Education Score Card and make recommendations to help Florida increase its ratings across the state.
- The Continuing Services Contract ($135,000) – As partial funding on a $250,000 contract designed to facilitate rapid response to defense-related issues with multiple firms.
- To reach out directly to servicemembers in Florida and those who want to settle in our state, EFI updated the Florida Military Benefits Guide which provides a comprehensive summary of the laws and programs that benefit service members and families stationed in Florida.
- In June, Governor Ron DeSantis signed six bills to support veterans, military members, and their families in finding employment and educational opportunities in Florida. These pieces of legislation build on funding provided in the Freedom First Budget and continue to support Florida’s achievements as the most military friendly state in the nation, elevating Florida’s commitments to our military members and their families. Those bills were:
- House Bill (HB) 45 provides educational opportunities for disabled veterans by providing additional assistance to achieve a 100 percent award for tuition and fees.
- Senate Bill (SB) 430 reenacts the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children which ensures a smooth transition for children of active-duty military families by enabling seamless school placement, enrollment, records transfers, and verification of graduation requirements.
- SB 514 allows state agencies to substitute work experience, including military experience, for postsecondary education to allow veterans to use on the job experience to apply for civilian jobs.
- SB 896 will help veterans access jobs in education by allowing their military service to count toward the requirement for a temporary educator certificate under the mentorship of a certified teacher.
- SB 562 requires the Department of Business and Professional Regulation to expedite license applications of active-duty military spouses.
- SB 438 updates Florida’s definition of Uniformed Service to include the United States Space Force and updates military base names.
HIGHLIGHTING FLORIDA AS THE PREMIER DESTINATION FOR SPORTING EVENTS
- During Fiscal Year 2021-22, the Florida Sports Foundation (FSF) partnered with Florida communities to award 216 major, regional, small market, and sports industry conference assistance grants totaling nearly $4.6 million. Combined, the events supported by the grants were projected to attract more than 1.2 million visitors to the state and generate an economic impact of more than $777 million.
- FIFA selected Miami as a World Cup 2026 host city. The bid process was initiated in 2017, and awards were announced in June 2022. Enterprise Florida committed $5 million in grant support to support Miami’s host city logistics for the tournament.
- The 2022 Special Olympics USA Games were held in Orange County, featuring 5,500 athletes from all 50 states, 14,000 volunteers, and nearly 125,000 spectators. Teams, families, and spectators booked as many as 65,000 hotel rooms with an estimated economic impact of $25 million.
- The 2022 Florida Grapefruit League drew more than 566,000 fans to Florida’s 13 locations in March for spring training – an average of nearly 4,500 fans per game. Florida continues to be a vital pre-season tune-up for Major League Baseball teams as eight Florida Grapefruit League teams advanced into the post-season.
- In May, the 2022 National Senior Games were held in Broward County for the first time since 1999. More than 1,600 Florida Senior Games athletes registered to compete in their home state and compiled the highest medal total of all competing states, with more than 1,100 total medals awarded.
- More than 7,000 athletes competed in the 2022 Sunshine State Games in over 20 sports from February through June.
Enterprise Florida (EFI), the state’s lead commerce agency, serves as a catalyst for economic development by promoting Florida as a premier business destination and expanding the state’s economy through private-sector job creation. At the forefront of economic development in Florida, EFI is responsible for rolling out the red carpet to business and industry and supporting industry clusters by serving as a lead partner connecting businesses with state and local resources. As a public-private partnership of Florida’s business and government leaders, EFI facilitates job growth through recruitment and retention, business growth through international trade and exporting programs, promotion of the sports industry, promotion and protection of Florida’s military bases, and capital funding programs to assist small and minority businesses. EFI works closely with a statewide network of economic development partners, including DEO, to showcase Florida as the leading state for business.