March 2, 2024

Up Front - The Publisher's Column

Strategic Economic Development is Florida's Future

David Denor | 9/1/2023

Florida’s growth is impressive — from the Panhandle to South Florida and all areas in between. The population expansion our state has been experiencing is quite extraordinary, with nearly 1,000 new residents moving here each day. Along with the population boom, business sector growth has followed. When looking at recent U.S. Census data, of the nearly 6 million business applications filed nationally, almost 700,000 of them (nearly 12%) were in Florida.

There are many reasons behind Florida’s tremendous growth: no state income tax, inheritance taxes or intangible tax is a start. Its corporate and sales taxes are lower than most states, and the cost of living also is relatively lower compared to states in the Northeast and on the West Coast. We also cannot discount Florida’s temperate weather conditions which provides an ideal environment for live, work and play.

Florida has done a good job of making the state a welcoming place for businesses and employees alike, but we should not discount the efforts of organizations — both public and private — that play important roles in recruiting business to the state along with helping to find, retain and train Florida’s workforce talent.

One such organization is the Florida Economic Development Council (FEDC). The 180-plus member organizations of FEDC are comprised of public and private partnerships — city- and county-based economic development and workforce agencies that know their communities well. The FEDC and its members help prepare businesses to launch, expand or relocate. They also help businesses establish connections, find appropriate site locations and help them to establish their path forward to prosperity in Florida.

Focused in its approach, Florida and member organizations of FEDC have identified key industry sector growth and recruitment across nine strategic industry sectors:

• Manufacturing

• Defense & Homeland Security

• Logistics & Distribution

• Life Sciences

• Aviation & Aerospace

• Corporate Headquarters

• Financial & Professional Services

• Clean Technology

• Information Technology

Future growth will be determined by the strength of Florida’s economic development efforts to recruit and retain tomorrow’s leading industry sector employers.

With a population of 22 million, a civilian labor force of nearly 11 million and a gross domestic product of $1.2 trillion, Florida is on an upward trajectory. To continue to stay on course, it’s important that Florida remains focused on a path of smart, strategic and direct economic development initiatives.

— David G. Denor, Publisher ddenor@floridatrend.com

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