In 1916, the Florida Chamber of Commerce began as the Florida Cattle Tick Eradication Committee. Times were dire – the entire state was under federal quarantine due to the prevalence of the cattle tick, which threatened Florida’s entire economy. In our early years, agriculture leaders know they could accomplish far more working together than they could by themselves. That’s how the story of the Florida Chamber of Commerce began…battling a threat to the safety and security of Florida’s economy.
In the 100 years since the Florida Chamber was created:
- Florida’s population has grown from just over 900,000 in 1916 to more than 20 million,
- Over the past year, 1 in 10 jobs created in the U.S. were created in Florida, and
- Florida would be the 16th largest economy in the world if Florida were a country.
Throughout the Florida Chamber’s 100 year history, its number one goal has been to encourage a business friendly climate that allows job creators to do what they do best – create private-sector jobs and contribute to Florida’s economy. In the last 100 years, the Florida Chamber has led efforts to:
- Strengthen Florida’s agriculture industry,
- Embrace and protect Florida’s military and defense industry,
- Foster Florida’s unique quality of life,
- Advance innovation during the space age,
- Promote education as the key to unlocking a stronger economy, and
- Strengthen Florida’s infrastructure.
Yet, Florida’s story is just beginning and the Florida Chamber’s leadership is just getting started. While agriculture, tourism and construction continue to serve as the foundation of Florida’s economy, our increasingly global economy is setting the stage for a more diversified economy through life sciences and biotech, energy, international trade, advanced manufacturing and space technologies.
By 2030, Florida is expected to be home to more than six million new residents. Nearly five million new drivers will commute on our roads, and cars will drive themselves. More than 150,000 million visitors will travel our roads, and many on high speed trains. And Florida will need to create and fill nearly two million new jobs.
And just as it did over the last century, the Florida Chamber and our members and partners will continue to focus on making Florida America’s best hope.