DEO’s Ken Lawson Shares Importance of Investing in VISIT FLORIDA, the QTI Program, and Communities Impacted by Hurricanes

With the Florida Legislature currently putting finishing touches on Florida’s next state budget, Florida Department of Economic Opportunity CEO Ken Lawson tells the Florida Chamber’s Bottom Line that Floridians enjoy a friendly tax climate because of Florida’s visitors contributing to the economy.

“By virtue of tourism, we’re not paying a state income tax. Out-of-state tourists are investing in Florida, spending money across the state, that means that’s increasing our tax base. So, it’s very important that VISIT FLORIDA is funded to help market the state across the country and the world.”

-Director Ken Lawson
CEO, Florida Department of Economic Opportunity

Director Lawson, Florida’s top economic development leader, also shared the importance of not letting the Qualified Targeted Industries (QTI) program sunset.

“QTI is a great tool for small, medium and large communities across Florida. This tool causes companies to create jobs in aerospace, finance and diversified areas,” he explained about the program that allows job creators who invest in their business, create jobs and pay their taxes, to seek tax refunds based on their investment.

Director Lawson also highlights how DEO is playing a vital role in helping with long-term hurricane disaster recovery.

“Under Governor DeSantis’s leadership, DEO is fully committed to long-term disaster recovery, ensuring they put funds out across the State of Florida,” Lawson said. “With Hurricane Irma, we awarded $300 million so far, with Hurricane Michael we are working on our state action plan.”

Call, Text, Email Your Lawmaker

Florida’s businesses need your support. Reach out to your lawmakers and encourage them to support continuing Florida’s QTI program and VISIT FLORIDA. Find your Representative HERE. Find your Senator HERE.

The Florida Chamber also has a goal for every community to have resiliency plans in times of natural disaster. Tell us HERE about your community’s resiliency plan.

Florida’s Top Economic Development Leader Pushes for VISIT FLORIDA and Qualified Targeted Industry Investments

Shares How Florida’s DEO is Helping with Long-Term Hurricane Disaster Relief

TALLAHASSEE, Fla (February 25, 2020) – With the Florida Legislature currently putting finishing touches on Florida’s next state budget, Florida Department of Economic Opportunity CEO Ken Lawson tells the Florida Chamber’s Bottom Line that Floridians enjoy a friendly tax climate because of Florida’s visitors contributing to the economy.

“By virtue of tourism, we’re not paying a state income tax,” said Lawson. “Out-of-state tourists are investing in Florida, spending money across the state, that means that’s increasing our tax base. So, it’s very important that VISIT FLORIDA is funded to help market the state across the country and the world.”

Director Lawson, Florida’s top economic development leader, also shared the importance of not letting the Qualified Targeted Industries (QTI) program sunset.

“QTI is a great tool for small, medium and large communities across Florida. This tool causes companies to create jobs in aerospace, finance and diversified areas,” he explained about the program that allows job creators who invest in their business, create jobs and pay their taxes, to seek tax refunds based on their investment.

Director Lawson also highlights how DEO is playing a vital role in helping with long-term hurricane disaster recovery.

“Under Governor DeSantis’s leadership, DEO is fully committed to long-term disaster recovery, ensuring they put funds out across the State of Florida,” Lawson said. “With Hurricane Irma, we awarded $300 million so far, with Hurricane Michael we are working on our state action plan.”

Click HERE to watch the latest edition of the Florida Chamber’s Bottom Line public affairs program.

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Established in 1916 as Florida’s first statewide business advocacy organization, the Florida Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business and the state’s largest federation of employers, chambers of commerce and associations aggressively representing small and large businesses from every industry and every region. The Florida Chamber works within all branches of government to affect those changes set forth in the annual Florida Business Agenda, and which are seen as critical to secure Florida’s future. The Florida Chamber works closely with its Florida Political Operations and the Florida Chamber Foundation. Visit www.FloridaChamber.com for more information.

Florida Workforce 2030 Shows Changing Landscape of the ‘World of Work’ Requires New Skills

92% of Industry Leaders Poised to Hire, Yet 81% Concerned About Lack of Employability Skills

TALLAHASSEE, FL (February 13, 2020) – Robots, automation, artificial intelligence, new innovations and technology are significantly changing the landscape of what will be required of Florida’s workforce, and the skills that Florida students will need as they plan their future, according to the Florida Chamber Foundation’s latest report Florida Workforce 2030. While industry leaders are poised to hire, they’re increasingly concerned about the lack of employability skills.

With the world of work becoming increasingly complex, to remain globally competitive, Florida must lead by developing, attracting and retaining a strong talent pool, Florida Workforce 2030 explains.

“To build America’s best workforce in Florida, we must prepare students for global competition. That means better aligning programs and standards with future job demands, training and attracting the best and brightest for advancement and new careers, and increasing economic prosperity for all Floridians – starting with our youngest learners,” said Mark Wilson, President and CEO, Florida Chamber of Commerce.

Through a series of industry leader roundtables, surveys and research, Florida Workforce 2030 shows that five of Florida’s targeted growth sectors – Aviation and Aerospace, Financial and Professional Services, Healthcare and Life Sciences, Manufacturing, Trade and Logistics – will require talent that embraces technological advancements, artificial intelligence, automation and innovation. According to the report, industry leaders reveal that:

“I applaud the Florida Chamber’s focus on workforce education and supporting Governor DeSantis’ goal of becoming the number one state in the nation for workforce education by 2030. With Florida’s population growing to more than 26 million by 2030, it is imperative that we focus on building a talented and highly skilled workforce to fill the jobs of the future. I look forward to working with the Governor, Legislature and Chamber to ensure that goal,” said Florida Commissioner of Education, Richard Corcoran.

To prepare for projected shifts in Florida’s labor market, the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Florida Workforce 2030 highlights five core recommendations for policymakers, educators and Florida’s business community to unite around. They are:

  1. Recommit to long-term, continuous strengthening of every stage of our education system by providing career pathways focused on industry needs. This includes adults needing to upskill, re-skill or complete a credential to be competitive in the workplace, as well as for middle and high school students in order to increase educational attainment levels.
  2. Emphasize work-based learning opportunities as part of education in high school and beyond and all students should be encouraged to earn at least one high-quality, industry-recognized certification to ensure that they graduate with career and workforce competencies that are valued by employees.
  3. Identify strategies that address equity gaps to ensure upward mobility opportunities for all Floridians. Closing the educational attainment and labor participation gaps in Florida between racial and ethnic groups, as well as urban and rural populations, is essential to Florida’s future.
  4. Invest economic development dollars in proven, scalable training programs for adults and other incumbent workers while creating public-private partnerships through targeted incentives, and re-training for high-demand jobs that will help build local talent pipelines.
  5. Utilize data to inform policy and best practices including metrics that measure education attainment, employment, earnings, future population and workforce needs.

Florida Workforce 2030 was presented to Governor Ron DeSantis, Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran, Senate President Bill Galvano, House Speaker Jose Oliva, and members of the Florida Talent Development Council which was established by Governor DeSantis to develop a coordinated, data-driven, statewide approach to meeting Florida’s needs for a 21st-century workforce.

Florida Workforce 2030, along with an Industry Roundtable and Survey Summary along with Industry Career Path details for Florida’s five targeted growth sectors, are available at www.FLChamber.com/FloridaWorkforce2030.

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING:

“CareerSource Florida applauds the Florida Chamber Foundation for its ongoing work to help Governor DeSantis ensure our state becomes No. 1 in the nation in workforce education. We are grateful for the opportunity to contribute to this important research through state and local perspectives on the evolution of talent development needs for Florida’s growing industries.” Michelle Dennard, President and CEO, CareerSource Florida

“Workforce development education is a major factor to secure Florida’s economic prosperity for years to come, and I am proud to support Governor DeSantis’ goal of Florida leading the nation in workforce development by 2030. I commend the Florida Chamber’s spotlight on building a talent pipeline that will lead to innovation and competitiveness, ultimately resulting in higher wages and a sustainable economy. Florida’s future looks especially bright and I am looking forward to working with Governor DeSantis, the Legislature and the Florida Chamber to make these important strategic goals a reality.” Dr. Eric Hall, Chancellor for Innovation, Florida Department of Education

“The Florida Chamber Foundation has set the course for adopting a data-driven approach to meeting Florida’s future workforce needs.  The Florida Workforce 2030 report aligns perfectly with the Florida 2030 Blueprint and after listening to the needs of employers across the state, provides long-term recommendations for a 21st century workforce.” Todd Powell, Vice President of Real Estate, Weyerhaeuser & Chair, Florida Chamber Foundation

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Qualified Targeted Industries Help Create High-Wage Jobs

Did you know that targeting certain industries will help diversify and expand Florida’s economy and create high-wage jobs?

Industries such as aviation and aerospace, informational technology, manufacturing, logistics and distribution, and others help to diversify Florida’s economy, create high paying jobs and increase economic output.

Right now, Florida’s industry diversification ranking is 19th in the U.S. We believe we can and must do better, and we’ve made it our goal to grow Florida’s industry diversification into the top 12.

On January 21, a Florida Senate committee took a step closer to extending the Qualified Targeted Industry (QTI) Tax Refund program for existing and relocating companies that create new, full-time jobs paying at least 115 percent of the private-sector annual average wage in these targeted industries. Additionally, the bill encourages recovery in areas impacted by Hurricane Michael by relaxing certain requirements of the QTI Tax Refund Program.

Thank you, Senator Joe Gruters, for sponsoring SB 922, and for supporting an innovation economy.

Call, Text, Email Your Lawmaker

Senator Gruters needs your support, and that’s why the Florida Chamber encourages members and partners to reach out to your lawmaker and ask them to extend QTI – the Qualified Targeted Industry program. Find your Representative HERE. Find your Senator HERE.

Florida Chamber Releases 2020 Jobs Agenda

FLORIDA CHAMBER’S 2020 JOBS AGENDA

Keeping Florida’s Momentum Going and Predicting 200,000 New Jobs in 2020

“Making Florida more competitive is essential for job and economic growth.”

MARK WILSON, President and CEO, Florida Chamber of Commerce

TALLAHASSEE, FL (January 13, 2020) – Job creators are gathering in Tallahassee this week with optimism that Florida can keep the momentum going, create 200,000 new jobs this year, and strengthen Florida’s economy even more through actions by the Florida Legislature and Governor Ron DeSantis. Additionally, job creators have released the Florida Chamber’s 2020 Jobs Agenda, commonly referred to as the Florida Business Agenda, which highlights where the Florida Chamber stands on key legislative decisions. 

Business leaders from throughout Florida are gathering this week at the Capitol as part of the Florida Chamber’s Annual Legislative Fly-In, and are sharing the Florida Chamber’s 2020 Jobs Agenda which will help create jobs, lower the cost of living and lift incomes – with the belief that Florida’s best days are yet to come.

The Florida Chamber is uniting the business community for good to:

– Lower the Cost of Living,
-Reduce the Cost of Doing Business, and
-Better Prepare for Florida’s Future Growth.

These are ideas outlined in Florida’s 2030 Blueprint, commonly known as Florida’s next Strategic Plan.

“The Florida Chamber’s annual jobs and competitiveness agenda – the Florida Business Agenda – is a set of priorities that will help grow private sector jobs, continue to create economic opportunity in Florida and further diversify our economy,” said Charles Caulkins, Chair of the Florida Chamber of Commerce and Partner at Fisher Phillips.

For the last nine years, Florida has outpaced the U.S. economy in job growth. As Florida will grow at approximately 900 new residents daily, Florida Chamber Foundation Chief Economist Dr. Jerry Parrish predicts that Florida will create 200,000 new jobs in 2020 and that the Sunshine State has a lower probability of recession than last year.

“If Florida was a stock, it would be considered a strong buy. While Florida’s economic outlook for 2020 is positive, it’s not without risks which is why passing the Florida Chamber’s Jobs Agenda is so important,” said Mark Wilson, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

The Florida Chamber’s 2020 Jobs Agenda Includes:

Lowering the Cost of Living:

Lawsuit abuse essentially amounts to additional taxes on Florida families over $4,000 each year. Florida’s lawsuit climate currently ranks 46 out of 50 in a national survey conducted by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform.

  • The Florida Legislature should improve Florida’s legal climate by passing common-sense reforms to curtail abuse of Florida’s legal system.

“If we make the legal climate so it’s based on the clients rather than the attorneys, I think that would be a better climate,” Governor Ron DeSantis said when the national survey ranking Florida’s lawsuit climate among the nation’s worst was released.

Reducing Florida’s Cost of Doing Business:

Discouraging and anti-competitive tax policies, like the Florida-only business rent tax and lack of internet sales tax collection, make Florida less competitive.

  • The Florida Legislature should advance globally competitive tax policies by reducing the Business Rent Tax and modernizing Florida’s tax code to collect sales tax on internet transactions from out-of-state retailers.

Preparing for the Future Growth:

According to www.TheFloridaScorecard.org, there are 284,800 jobs looking for people and 323,000 people looking for jobs. Finding a qualified workforce is a top concern for job creators. Employers need talent that is prepared to enter the workforce, and Florida wins when we close the talent gap.

The Florida Legislature should:

  • Continue to focus on early learning, talent and workforce shortage solutions. 
  • Continue to support the legislatively-created Talent Development Council to develop a coordinated, data-driven, statewide approach to meeting Florida’s needs for a 21st century workforce that employers and educators use as part of Florida’s talent supply system. This also supports Governor DeSantis’s efforts to have the number one workforce in America.

By 2030, 4.5 million more residents will call Florida home. A growing Florida means a growing need for forward-thinking infrastructure investments in Florida’s energy, water, transportation, telecommunications, agriculture and other hard and soft infrastructure sectors.

The Florida Chamber’s Infrastructure Coalition recommends that the Florida Legislature:

  • Continue to make long-term investments in energy, transportation, resiliency and water policy for Florida’s future.

Florida is currently experiencing a shortage of access to high-value, quality healthcare and that is a problem that will continue to grow as Florida’s population grows. That is why we support expanding scope of practice laws to allow for greater access to care, particularly in rural and underserved communities.

The Florida Chamber’s Healthcare Partnership encourages the Florida Legislature to:

  • Support expanding scope of practice for Advanced Practitioners and allow them to practice medicine to the full extent of their education and training.

“Year after year, the Florida Chamber has been at the forefront of solving issues that impact the competitiveness and future of Florida’s business climate. Our focus remains steadfast in our efforts to be the driving force uniting Florida’s business community for good, creating economic opportunity and growing jobs,” Wilson added.

The Florida Chamber will track each bill on the Florida Business Agenda, and votes will be used as the basis for grading lawmakers at the conclusion of the Legislative Session. We look forward to working with Governor DeSantis, Senate President Bill Galvano and Speaker of the House Jose Oliva to keep Florida’s momentum going.

The Florida Chamber’s 2020 Florida Business Agenda can be downloaded HERE.

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The Florida Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business and the state’s largest federation of employers, chambers of commerce and associations aggressively representing small and large businesses from every industry and every region. The Florida Chamber works within all branches of government to affect those changes set forth in the annual Florida Business Agenda, and which are seen as critical to secure Florida’s future. The Florida Chamber works closely with its Florida Political Operations and the Florida Chamber Foundation. Visit www.FloridaChamber.com for more information.

Florida Putting a Woman On the Moon By 2024

At the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Future of Florida Forum, Frank DiBello, President & CEO of Space Florida and Mark Wiese, Gateway Logistics Element Manager from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, gave more information on the Artemis program, NASA’s plan to put the first woman on the moon by 2024.

The Artemis program will also seek to put the first human on Mars and develop support systems for both endeavors.

The economic impact to Florida’s Space Coast has enormous potential as NASA will team with the private sector and international partners to develop the material support needed for these missions.

“In the next decade, we expect over 10,000 satellites to be launched to support our insatiable demand for bandwidth globally and to connect all of the people in the world who are now unconnected to the internet,” said Frank DiBello, President and CEO of Space Florida. “More importantly there will be companies going up into lower earth orbit to create research and manufacture value in space. Our vision is for Florida to be the economic center of that activity.”

Get Involved Today

Sign the petition to strengthen Florida’s leadership in space exploration.

Commerce Secretary Jamal Sowell and EFI’s Economic Plan

We are pleased to welcome Florida’s Secretary of Commerce and Enterprise Florida President and CEO Jamal Sowell as a featured speaker at the Florida Chamber Foundation’s 2019 Future of Florida Forum.

Secretary Sowell will discuss Governor DeSantis’ bold vision for economic growth in Florida, highlighting the Governor’s recent business development missions, industries that are important to Florida’s economy including aviation/aerospace and financial services, and opportunities for the business community to help expand and diversify Florida’s economy.

Register today to reserve your spot and be a part of this discussion and other important conversations on how we grow Florida’s economy from the 17th largest in the world to the 10th largest on the planet.

2019 Future of Florida Forum

October 28-29, 2019
Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress
One Grand Cypress Boulevard
Orlando, Florida

2020 Florida Business Leaders’ Summit on Prosperity and Economic Opportunity

Did you know more than 3 million Floridians live in poverty? Of those, more than 260,000 are under age 5.

Join business and industry leaders as well as elected officials and community voices us as we analyze a path to prosperity for each of Florida’s zip codes. We will also discuss best practices around the state, how they can be replicated and more. Conversations will also focus around 10 topic areas that the Florida Chamber Foundation’s research shows are: Jobs, Education, Housing, Health, Food, Safety, Child care, Justice, Transportation and Agency-Community voice.

Florida Business Leaders Summit on Prosperity and Economic Opportunity
May 19, 2020
The Westin Sarasota
Sarasota, Florida

To have your logo featured here, click here or contact Aaron Kinnon at AKinnon@FlFoundation.org.

SPEAKER ANNOUNCED: Space Florida’s Frank DiBello to Discuss U.S. Space Command

Space Florida President Frank DiBello
Florida: The State for Space

We are pleased to welcome Space Florida’s Frank DiBello as a Summit speaker to discuss space command, job creation, and opportunities for state and local economic diversity.

According to Florida 2030 Research, Military and Defense industries generate approximately $80 billion of Florida’s economic impact and support nearly 775,000 Florida jobs. Florida is currently the 17th largest economy on the planet. To achieve our goal of becoming the 10th by 2030, we must have conversations about how the military and defense industries will play a role in this achievement. How can Florida’s businesses and policymakers support these industries and ensure they are reaching their full potential? Attracting more space companies to Florida and growing the space industry will strengthen our manufacturing sector, grow our defense alliances, and help Florida continue to lead in innovation. Florida must strengthen and improve our already existing success, but we can’t do it alone.

During our 2019 Military, Defense & Veterans Opportunities Summit, we will bring Florida’s economic development experts, policymakers, and business community together to examine the challenges and opportunities facing these crucial industries and Florida’s growing veteran population.

Click here for more information on the 2019 Military, Defense & Veterans Opportunities Summit.

Florida Chamber of Commerce Names Representative Bob Rommel 2019 Most Valuable Legislator

Also Announces 18 Distinguished Advocate Award Recipients

ORLANDO, Fla. (June 20, 2019) – The Florida Chamber of Commerce today awarded Representative Bob Rommel with the 2019 Most Valuable Legislator (MVL) award for his leadership in tackling Florida’s ‘Judicial Hellhole’ label. The MVL presentation was made during the Florida Chamber’s Board of Directors meeting in Orlando.

The Florida Chamber’s MVL award is the business community’s premier legislative award honoring a single lawmaker for their outstanding legislative leadership and willingness to take a stand for free enterprise.

“Representative Rommel championed and led ending Florida’s lawsuit abuse problem that is costing Florida’s families over $4,000 each year, and has earned Florida an international reputation as a ‘Judicial Hellhole,’” said Mark Wilson, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce, in a congratulatory video.

Upon news of the award, Representative Rommel said: “The Florida Chamber’s commitment to make sure Florida’s business community flourishes is unparalleled. I was very proud to work with them this year to advance and enact unprecedented business reform legislation that will unleash Florida entrepreneurs to grow, innovate, and create more jobs. I’m honored to receive this recognition from the Florida Chamber, and I look forward to our continued partnership.”

DISTINGUISHED ADVOCATE AWARD RECIPIENTS:
Additionally, the Florida Chamber Distinguished Advocate awards – recognizing lawmakers who fought tirelessly for the passage of pro-business legislation and advanced the Florida Chamber’s goals of securing Florida’s future through job creation and economic development – were announced.

“We’re pleased to recognize members of the Florida Legislature with the Distinguished Advocate awards who had the courage to put free enterprise principles for job creation above special interest,” said Mark Wilson, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

The 18 members of the Florida Legislature honored with a 2019 Florida Chamber Distinguished Advocate award include:

HOW THEY VOTED

The Florida Chamber also released its annual publication How They Voted – which provides the grades for all 157 legislators so business leaders can see who voted for or against job creation and economic growth.

# # #

Established in 1916 as Florida’s first statewide business advocacy organization, the Florida Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business and the state’s largest federation of employers, chambers of commerce and associations aggressively representing small and large businesses from every industry and every region. The Florida Chamber works within all branches of government to affect those changes set forth in the annual Florida Business Agenda, and which are seen as critical to secure Florida’s future. The Florida Chamber works closely with its Florida Political Operations and the Florida Chamber Foundation. Visit www.FloridaChamber.com for more information.

Florida Chamber of Commerce Releases 2019 Legislative Report Card

98 Lawmakers Earn A’s and B’s; 59 Earn C’s, D’s, and F’s

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (May 21, 2019) – Ninety-eight members of the Florida Legislature earned A’s or B’s on the Florida Chamber of Commerce’s 2019 Legislative Report Card, and helped lower the cost of living and cost of doing business on families and job creators, while also preparing for future growth and protecting Florida’s constitution, the state’s leading voice of business and largest federation of employers, chambers of commerce and business association partners announced today.

Many lawmakers earned higher grades this legislative session with their renewed focus on important competitiveness issues like:

  • Property insurance, lawsuit abuse, regulatory and targeted tax reforms,
  • Innovations in healthcare, and high-quality workforce education and apprenticeship programs, and
  • Key smart growth issues like transportation, energy grid hardening, and autonomous and innovations.

The Florida Chamber’s Legislative Report Card is an annual opportunity to recognize members of the Florida Legislature who placed making Florida more competitive through private-sector job creation, above special interests and their attempts to protect the status quo.

KEY DATA POINTS:
After tabulating more than 4,000 votes cast during the 2019 Legislative Session, data shows:

  • 98 lawmakers earned an A or B; 59 lawmakers earned a C, D or F.
  • Average GPA for both legislative chambers was 79.37 percent.
  • Senate GPA was 84.59 percent, up from 74 percent in 2018.
  • House GPA was 77.59 percent, down slightly from 79 percent in 2018.

“We believe in transparency and accountability, and the Florida Chamber’s Legislative Report Card is a fantastic tool for families, small businesses, taxpayers and voters to know if their elected officials voted in support of lowering the cost of living and reducing the cost of doing business, while also preparing for Florida’s future,” said David Hart, Executive Vice President, Florida Chamber of Commerce.

TRANSPARENT GRADING PROCESS:
The Florida Chamber’s legislative grading process is both transparent and accountable.

  • The Florida Business Agenda (FBA) was announced during a news conference prior to the 2019 Legislative Session which was attended by bicameral members of the legislature, and dozens of leaders from throughout Florida’s business community.
  • The Florida Business Agenda, outlined in Where We Stand, was hand delivered and mailed to each member of the Florida Legislature.
  • Florida Chamber leadership met with numerous newspaper editorial boards, and legislators and staff in advance of session.
  • Most importantly, prior to each vote graded on the report card, a “Your Vote Matters” letter outlining the pro-business position and the Florida Chamber’s intent to score the vote was transmitted to voting members of the legislature – in total, about 4,000 scored votes letters were transmitted in advance.

Stay Tuned:
The Florida Chamber will soon announce 2019 legislative awards, including Distinguished Advocates and the Florida Chamber’s premier legislative award, the Most Valuable Legislator award. Past winners can be found here.

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Series on Free Enterprise: Cocoa Beach Regional Chamber “Stewards of the Space Coast”

For more than 80 years, the Cocoa Beach Regional Chamber of Commerce has served as the voice of business and has worked to enhance the quality of life in their community. On the latest Florida Chamber Series on Free Enterprise we are joined by Cocoa Beach Regional Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Jennifer Sugarman, to discuss how they continue to be “stewards of the space coast.”

“Our community was largely built on the space program, so we are a little bit different than back when the Apollo era was going on because we are more diversified now than ever,” said Sugarman. “So, a lot of people felt like when the shuttle program retired the space coast was kind of dead in the water but that is far from true.”

Sign the Petition to Secure Florida’s Tourism Industry

This past year, Florida welcomed a record-breaking 126 million visitors to the Sunshine State. Tourism in Florida not only helps create jobs, but keeps taxes low for Florida residents. Sign the petition today to secure Florida’s tourism industry.

Strengthening Florida’s Leadership in Space Exploration

 

Download One Pager    Learn More About Aviation & Aerospace

 

Why It Matters to Florida

As NASA’s role continues to evolve private aerospace companies are playing increasingly important roles in space exploration. Florida must aggressively compete to remain the preeminent location for spaceflight activities, engage in more research and development and capitalize and grow Florida’s existing space industry talent supply. Florida’s aerospace industry helps to generate bold economic development initiatives and brings much needed jobs not only to Florida’s Space Coast, but throughout Florida.

Florida’s Competitiveness Agenda

The Florida Chamber will continue to push for targeted investments in technological advancements for both civil and commercial space projects, and ensure that Florida maintains its leadership role in space. The Florida Chamber will also continue to advocate for initiatives that fund aviation improvements and grow our highly skilled and educated aerospace workforce. Encouraging targeted investments in technological advancements for both civil and commercial space projects ensures Florida remains the leader in America’s space business.

The Fight for Free Enterprise Continues

With new programs and innovations bringing life back to Florida’s Space Coast, the Florida Chamber remains committed to strengthening Florida’s leadership in space exploration by supporting growing public and commercial space initiatives, and investing and growing skilled aerospace workforce.

Act Now

Add your voice to those who support innovative growth in Florida’s aviation and aerospace industries by joining the Florida Chamber in our fight to secure Florida’s future.

Making Florida More Competitive is Essential for Jobs and Economic Growth

 

Watch Our News Conference     Download Where We Stand

 

The 2019 Legislative Session begins in earnest next week, and as we prepare to enter this 60-day event, we are reminded that choices matter. The Florida Chamber of Commerce’s annual jobs and competitiveness policy agenda, commonly referred to as the Florida Business Agenda, is a set of priorities that will help grow private sector jobs, continue to create economic opportunity in Florida and further diversify our economy.

Year after year, the Florida Chamber has been on the front lines of solving issues that impact the competitiveness and future of Florida’s business climate. While time passes, our focus remains the same – to be the driving force in uniting Florida’s business community, creating economic opportunities and growing private-sector jobs.

In many ways, Florida is moving in the right direction; but the truth is, things are fragile. Political inaction and uncertainty, changing demographics and unprecedented amounts of out-of-state special interests pose a threat to Florida’s sustainability and competitiveness.

Making Florida more competitive is essential for economic growth and job creation, which is why the Florida Chamber is calling on lawmakers to reduce the cost of living, reduce the cost of doing business and to prepare for Florida’s future growth.

For more than eight years, Florida has outpaced the U.S. economy in job growth. Growing at just under 900 new residents daily, Florida Chamber Chief Economist Dr. Jerry Parrish predicts that Florida will create 150,000 new jobs in 2019 and that the Sunshine State has a very low probability of recession.

I’ve often said that if Florida was a stock, I’d buy all the stock I could. While Florida’s economic outlook for 2019 is positive, it’s not without risks, which is why passing the Florida Chamber’s Jobs Agenda is so important.

 

Reducing the Cost of Living

When it comes to reducing the cost of living, the Florida Legislature should put consumers ahead of trial lawyers and finally end Assignment of Benefits (AOB) scams that the Wall Street Journal and others have consistently written about. I encourage you to learn more about AOB fraud and abuse by reading this Pensacola News Journal article that Harold Kim, COO of the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for Legal Reform and I recently published.

 

Lowering the Cost of Doing Business

To lower the cost of doing business, lawmakers must fix Florida’s broken lawsuit climate. Florida’s bottom-five legal climate translates to a $4,442 tax on Florida families. Click here to see what leaders from Allstate, Safelite, People’s Trust Insurance, and Ron Jon Surf Shop have to say about Florida’s “judicial hellhole.”

 

Preparing for Future Growth

With 26 million people expected to call Florida home by 2030, and three million more drivers on our roads, it’s important that Florida’s infrastructure is prepared for this future growth. Therefore the Florida Chamber and its Infrastructure Coalition recommend that lawmakers champion innovations and adequate funding in all modes of transportation, secure affordable, efficient and sustainable energy solutions, champion long-term, sustainable water and environmental policies and ensure proactive economic planning and development.

Further, preparing for future growth also means ensuring that we have a qualified workforce to close the talent gap. That’s why we will again encourage the legislature to prepare Florida’s workforce to address the skills gap, and improve attainment and access to higher education and post-secondary learning.

2019 Florida Business Agenda

During last week’s 2019 Legislative Fly-In we had the opportunity to share your 2019 Florida Business Agenda with Governor Ron DeSantis and members of the Florida Legislature, the Cabinet and state agency leaders. Chief among guest speakers were Governor DeSantis, who hosted Legislative Fly-In attendees at a reception at the Governor’s Mansion, Attorney General Ashley Moody, Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran, Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Noah Valenstein, Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Executive Director Ken Lawson, Florida Department of Transportation Senior Policy Advisor Doug Callaway, Representative Chris Sprowls and Senators Wilton Simpson and Joe Gruters.

Each week during the legislative session, you’ll receive the Florida Chamber’s Weekly Legislative Update and learn the latest on how the Florida Business Agenda is fairing. When important “pro-biz” votes are scheduled, we’ll reach out and encourage you to share your support with lawmakers. And when there are bad “no-biz” bills that may force additional employer mandates on job creators, we’ll be there to push back against those who want free enterprise to fail.

Thank you for your support of free enterprise and in us.

Florida Chamber 2018 Legislative Fly-In

 

Register     Agenda     Book Your Hotel

 

Please join us for the Florida Chamber’s Legislative Fly-In, formerly known as Capitol Days, and connect with legislators, state leaders and
Florida’s top business leaders.

 

FLORIDA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE’S  2018 LEGISLATIVE FLY-IN  l  February 19-21, 2019

Augustus B. Turnbull, III Florida State Conference Center
555 W. Pensacola Street – Tallahassee, Florida 32306
AND
Florida State Capitol Complex
400 S. Monroe Street – Tallahassee, Florida 32399

Highlights Will Include

  • State of the State Business Address
  • 2019 Florida Business Agenda
  • Networking Opportunities with Florida’s Legislative Delegation
  • And More