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October 18, 2017

Why Florida? Reasons to Do Business in Florida

Seven solid answers to the question why locating and expanding your business in Florida just makes good sense.

Janet Ware | 9/24/2009

Here, where talent thrives, innovation is encouraged, global connections are easily established and government policies support sound economic growth, people from all places and businesses of all kinds are finding their perfect homes. And you can, too, because Florida offers ...

1. A STRONG HISTORY OF INNOVATION

Florida is no stranger to innovation. In fact, our innovation legacy dates from 1565 when European explorers founded their first city in the New World at St. Augustine. Four centuries later, it was scientists in Florida who developed the technology that would carry a new generation of explorers to the moon. And it was Florida that Walt Disney chose as the site for his “Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow,” the place we know today as EPCOT at Walt Disney World.

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Florida has long provided a nurturing environment for visionaries and people with “radical” ideas. Thomas Edison built a home and laboratory at Fort Myers; his good friend Henry Ford purchased the property next door. Two other Henrys — Flagler and Plant — built twin railroads on either side of the peninsula, thus providing easier access to Florida’s many charms and giving birth to a thriving tourist industry. And it was from Florida that journalist Marjory Stoneman Douglas launched the modern environmental movement in 1947. Her groundbreaking book, The Everglades: River of Grass, helped change public attitudes about conservation and, as a result, what many had considered a worthless swamp became a river worth saving.

Today, researchers at public universities and in private laboratories all across Florida are making discoveries in everything from disease prevention and cancer treatment to renewable energy and ocean reef conservation. According to a National Science Foundation report released in March 2009, research and development expenditures at Florida’s academic institutions topped $1.5 billion in 2007, the 10th highest among all U.S. states. Private research institutes such as Scripps, Burnham, Torrey Pines, SRI and Max Planck have found new “second” homes in Florida, giving rise to burgeoning clusters of like-minded innovators and entrepreneurs and attracting international attention. In 2009, Florida topped Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News’ list of U.S. Emerging Biotechnology Cluster hotspots, identified by industry leaders as one of the world’s most promising emerging biotech clusters.

Next page: A Thriving Talent Base

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