Florida Chamber Healthcare Partnership Survey


Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees is seeking your input on the CDC’s newest guidelines regarding masks and cloth coverings to help slow the spread of COVID-19.



Florida Chamber Healthcare Partnership Survey
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Small Business Loan Survey


There are several loan programs to help small businesses stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Senator Marco Rubio worked extensively on the CARES Act, which primarily benefits small businesses with the Paycheck Protection Program.  As we continue conversations with Senator Rubio, the congressional delegation, our partners in the banking industry and at the SBA and SBDC, your input will help us guide future changes to these lending program to ensure small businesses are getting the support that they need.



Small Business Loan Survey
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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 Chamber Chief Economist Dr. Jerry Parrish Details The Coronavirus’ Threats on Florida’s Economy

“With companies cutting their GDP forecasts, 30-year mortgages at an eight-year low, and manufacturers idling their factories because of supply-chain issues, all of this is having an effect on Florida’s economy.”

– Dr. Jerry Parrish

TALLAHASSEE, Fla (February 25, 2020) – Florida Chamber Foundation Chief Economist Dr. Jerry Parrish says Florida should be “concerned, but not panicked” about the coronavirus’s threats on Florida’s economy.

“Yesterday the Dow dropped by more than 1,000 points, companies are cutting their GDP forecasts, 30-year mortgages are at an eight-year low, manufacturers are idling their factories because of supply chain issues. All of this is having an effect on Florida’s economy, and it could continue. This is certainly a concern, but it’s not anything to panic about,” Dr. Parrish explained in his latest Florida By The Numbers report.

According to Dr. Parrish, Florida’s most vulnerable industries include:

• International Visitors
• Cruise Passengers
• Imports/Exports
• Manufacturing Jobs

The 10-year government bond, and the three-month T-bill are now showing an inversion.

“An inversion of the yield curve has been a reliable, but not perfect signal, of a future recession. This is one of the metrics that goes into the calculation of the probability of a Florida recession which is on TheFloridaScorecard.org,” Dr. Parrish explained. “The probability of Florida being in a recession over the next nine months has now increased to 24.1 percent.”

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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.

# # #

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.

Governor DeSantis’s Legislative Affairs Director Stephanie Kopelousos Shares Insights on EFI, Legal Reform & VISIT FLORIDA on the Florida Chamber’s Bottom Line

TALLAHASSEE, FL (February 12, 2020) – When Governor Ron DeSantis outlined his 2020 legislative priorities during his annual State of the State speech just five weeks ago, he encouraged lawmakers to continue improving on Florida’s bottom-five legal environment by passing meaningful lawsuit abuse reforms.

On the latest edition of the Florida Chamber’s Bottom Line, Stephanie Kopelousos, Legislative Affairs Director for Governor Ron DeSantis explains why it’s important to improve on Florida’s bottom-five legal climate.

“I think you see legislation this session that are going through that I think will make a difference. But the Governor’s made it a clear priority, just look at how many judicial appointments he’s made in really trying to get us from the bottom – we are at the bottom – in making that climate better for Floridians,” Kopelousos says.

Additionally, with a budget battle brewing between the House and Senate, Kopelousos explains why it’s important for the legislature to invest, as Governor DeSantis has recommended, in Florida’s tourism marketing and economic development programs by funding VISIT FLORIDA and Enterprise Florida, Inc.

# # #

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.

Gov. DeSantis’s Legislative Director Gives Insights on Enterprise Florida, Legal Reform & VISIT FLORIDA

When Governor Ron DeSantis outlined his 2020 legislative priorities during his annual State of the State speech just five weeks ago, he encouraged lawmakers to continue improving on Florida’s bottom five legal environment by passing meaning lawsuit abuse reforms.

On the latest edition of the Florida Chamber’s Bottom Line, Stephanie Kopelousos, Legislative Affairs Director for Governor Ron DeSantis explains why it’s important to improve on Florida’s bottom five legal climate.

“I think you see legislation this session that are going through that I think will make a difference. But the Governor’s made it a clear priority, just look at how many judicial appointments he’s made in really trying to get us from the bottom – we are at the bottom – in making that climate better for Floridians,” Kopelousos says.

Additionally, with a budget battle brewing between the House and Senate, Kopelousos explains why it’s important for the legislature to invest, as Governor DeSantis has recommended, in Florida’s tourism marketing and economic development programs by funding VISIT FLORIDA and Enterprise Florida, Inc.

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 Voters Strong on Governor DeSantis, Down on Impeachment Removal from Office, Concerned Most About Healthcare Costs and Finding Skilled Workers

Latest Florida Chamber Political Poll and Small Business Survey Show

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (January 21, 2020) – Governor Ron DeSantis continues to enjoy strong approval ratings among voters (68-18 percent), which is helping bolster voters’ feelings that Florida is moving in the right direction (63 to 24 percent), according to the latest statewide poll from the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

And as the impeachment trial gets underway in the U.S. Senate today, Florida voters do not approve of the Senate removing President Donald Trump from office, with 52 percent of voters disapproving and 43 percent approving.

While healthcare tops the list of issues voters would like the Florida Legislature to tackle this session (18 percent), the Florida Chamber’s Small Business Index Survey shows that job creators are still most concerned about finding qualified workers to fill the 284,800 open jobs.

“Floridians are confident in Governor DeSantis and, while they’re concerned about healthcare costs and workforce quality, support his efforts to help keep Florida moving in the right direction and champion solutions,” said Mark Wilson, President and CEO, Florida Chamber of Commerce.

With the road to the White House running through Florida, presidential head-to-head races show Donald Trump leading Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Mike Bloomberg and Pete Buttigieg.

Here’s how the numbers break down:

Governor DeSantis Approve/Disapprove:

68% approve
18% disapprove
14% unsure

Florida Right/Wrong Direction:


63% right direction
24% wrong track
13% not sure

After impeachment, should President Trump be removed from office?


TOTAL VOTERS:
52% disapprove, 43% approve
DEMOCRATS: 73% approve, 20% disapprove
NPA’s: 50% approve, 46% disapprove
REPUBLICANS: 87% disapprove, 9% approve

What issues should the legislature address?


Healthcare Costs 18%
Jobs/Economy 12%
Environment 9%
Education 9%
Immigration 6%

What’s keeping job creators up at night?

Florida Chamber’s Small Business Index Survey
Workforce quality 28%
Healthcare Costs 13%
Government Regulations 12%
Economic Uncertainty 10%

Presidential Head-to-Heads


                            Head-to-Head                  DEM               REP                NPA

Trump/Biden             49/45                          16/78              88/7                41/51

Trump/Warren          50/43                          17/75              90/7                41/50

Trump/Bloomberg    49/44                          16/75              87/8                40/53

Trump/Buttigieg        50/43                          19/72              87/9                40/51

In addition to measuring where voters stand on candidates and issues, the latest polling results show that NPAs continue to lead in voter registrations. In December, the latest month for which the state has data, 29 percent of new voters registered as Democrats, 34 percent registered as Republicans, and 37 percent registered as NPA – for a total of 50,733 total voter registrations in Florida. Total state voter registrations show 37 percent are Democrats, 35 percent are Republicans and 28 percent are NPAs.

ABOUT THIS POLL:

The Florida Chamber of Commerce political poll was conducted on January 3-12,2020 by Cherry Communications during live telephone interviews of likely voters, and has a margin of error of +/- 4 percent. The sample size included 247 Democrats, 241 Republicans and 120 Others for a total of 608 respondents statewide. The samples for the polls conducted by the Florida Chamber are consistently drawn from likely voters and newly registered voters, meaning those voters who have the propensity and past performance of voting in elections, rather than simply including registered voters.  Voters are again screened for likelihood of voting.

# # #

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.

Survey Says…Workforce Quality Still Keeping Job Creators Up at Night

Even though Florida is outpacing the national average is jobs created, survey results from the Florida Chamber of Commerce’s First Quarter Small Business Index Survey show that workforce continues to be the top concern among Florida small businesses. The is the 11th quarter out of 12 that small businesses have ranked this issue among their top concern.

“While Florida’s job creators should expect a strong 2020, continuing to outpace the nation in job creation, they continue to be highly concerned about finding qualified workers.”

Dr. Jerry Parrish
Chief Economist and Director of Research, Florida Chamber Foundation

While the probability of a recession is declining, Florida’s job creators are now much more concerned about government regulations and mandates for Florida businesses, which entered the top three.

The Florida Chamber’s first quarter Small Business Index Survey shows small businesses are most concerned about:

• Workforce Quality – 28 percent
• Healthcare Costs – 13 percent
• Government Regulations – 12 percent
• Economic Uncertainty – 10 percent
• Lawsuit Abuse – 4 percent

Despite their concern about workforce quality, job creators expect higher sales than last year. Of Florida small businesses, 69 percent of respondents expect to have higher sales than the previous year. Additionally, 49 percent of respondents expect to hire in the next six months, up from 39 percent in last quarter’s survey.

“Entrepreneurs and small businesses are the backbone of Florida’s economy, and the Florida Chamber’s Small Business Council remains committed to advocating on their behalf.”

Glenda Hood
Chair of the Florida Chamber’s Small Business Council
Member, Florida Chamber Board of Directors
President, Hood Partners

Click here to download the full report.

Get Involved

The Florida Chamber recognizes that small business is big business. To learn more about becoming a member of the Florida Chamber’s Small Business Council, contact Carolyn Johnson at cjohnson@flchamber.com or (850) 521-1235.

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.

Chief Economist Says Florida’s Economic Outlook is Good

2020 FLORIDA ECONOMIC OUTLOOK

UNITING BUSINESS FOR GOOD IN 2020 WILL KEEP THE MOMENTUM GOING

Florida Expected to Continue Outpacing the Nation in Job Creation

Tallahassee, Fla. (January 9, 2020) – Uniting business for good in 2020 will keep the momentum going, and help ensure Florida continues to outpace the nation in job creation, according to the Florida Chamber Foundation’s 2020 Florida Economic Outlook.

Florida’s economic outlook is positive, according to Florida Chamber Foundation Chief Economist Dr. Jerry Parrish, and with rising consumer sentiment, he expects Florida to create 200,000 jobs this year. Dr. Parrish also projects Florida will see 900 net new people moving to Florida each day throughout 2020 – a number that dropped to 640 net new residents per day in 2019.

In more good news, Florida’s probability for a recession continues to decline – down to 21.2 percent on TheFloridaScorecard.org.

“Florida has 284,800 open jobs, and 323,000 people looking for jobs. Those 284,800 open jobs are more than a year’s supply. As we work to continue to get Floridians the skills they need, keep in mind that getting those jobs filled would have a monster economic impact on our state,” Parrish explained.

But, as Florida Chamber President and CEO Mark Wilson detailed, there are a few clouds on the horizon that pose threats to Florida’s economy, including $15 per hour mandated wages, lawsuit abuse, the Florida-only business rent tax and legislative signaling to defund tourism marketing efforts.

The Florida Chamber is the only state chamber in the country with a full-time economist, and the research and data produced is well-respected among state leaders.

What Others Are Saying:

“Understanding the underpinnings of Florida’s economy is vital to projecting a state’s future success. That’s why we look forward to the economic data produced by the Florida Chamber; it’s a vital resource in our decision-making process,” said Rick Harper, Ph.D., Economic Advisory, Triumph Gulf Coast.

“The Florida Chamber is the only state chamber in the country that has a full-time Chief Economist on staff. That’s because they put high value on providing members with the best economic resources to help grow Florida’s economy. At Bank of America, we’re pleased to call the Florida Chamber partners in securing Florida’s future,” said Doug Davidson, Market Executive, Global Commercial Banking, Bank of America.

“The Florida Chamber and Chief Economist Dr. Jerry Parrish are hands down among the very best at forecasting how Florida’s economy will perform. When the Florida Chamber speaks, people listen,” said Chris Westley, Ph.D., Dean – Lutgert School of Business, Florida Gulf Coast University.

Miss The Presentation?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Visit 2020 Florida Economic Outlook to:

  • Watch Dr. Parrish’s presentation,
  • Download his report, and
  • Sign up to receive the Florida Chamber’s 2020 Business Agenda.

# # #

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.

EXCLUSIVE: Your Free 2020 Economic Outlook Awaits

Probability of a Florida Recession Continues to Drop and New County Data Available

According to Florida Chamber Foundation Chief Economist Dr. Jerry Parrish, Florida’s probability of a recession declined for the second month in a row. This news along with new county data added to TheFloridaScorecard.org are topics discussed in the latest By the Numbers.

Access to high-speed communications is vital in today’s technical economy. The Florida 2030 Blueprint includes an infrastructure goal that by 2030, 100 percent of Florida residents will have access to high-speed communications. To learn the percentage of residents in your county with access to high-speed internet, visit www.TheFloridaScorecard.org.

Registration Closing Soon

Registration is closing soon for the 2019 Transportation, Growth & Infrastructure Summit on December 5th in Hollywood. Click here for an updated list of speakers and register today to hear from the Florida Chamber Infrastructure Coalition, Trade Committees, Department of Transportation Secretary, Legislators and many others on how Florida will need to adapt and plan for Florida’s future.

Strategies for Rural Economic Development

Florida’s economy has seen a significant reshaping over the past 20 years. By 2030, rapid advancements in technology and automation will replace nearly half of all jobs that currently exist. While many urban areas of Florida have already begun preparing for this change, a large number of our rural areas are still reeling from the economic realities of the changes in agriculture and the devastation of Hurricane Michael.

At the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Future of Florida Forum, Todd Powell, Chairman of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees led a panel addressing the challenges to rural economic development and pathways to achieve the Blueprint 2030 goal of doubling the rural county share of Florida’s gross domestic product. The panel was made up of Michelle Dennard, President and CEO of CareerSource Florida, Jeff Hendry, Executive Director of the North Florida Economic Development Partnership, and Gray Swoope, President and CEO of VisionFirst Advisors.


A focus on rural and inland Florida economic development include:

• Supporting development of manufacturing and logistics operations along existing corridors such as I-10 and U.S. 27.
• Strengthening the effectiveness of Florida’s Rural Areas of Opportunity and other targeted rural development programs.
• Increase broadband access to Florida’s rural and inland counties.
• Provide higher levels of connectivity options between Florida’s urban and rural communities.

“In addition to the Florida Scorecard, the Florida Chamber has created regional scorecards for our three rural regions so we can track our metrics,” said Jeff Hendry. “The first one available is Opportunity Florida, covering the panhandle.”

“Please don’t forget about the people in Northwest Florida,” Hendry continued. “You can’t appreciate the devastation that Hurricane Michael caused if you haven’t been there. Speak with your legislators about doing what’s right to make these communities whole. It won’t happen overnight but we have to start somewhere, and we have to start now.”

Get Involved Today

Learn more about the Florida Chamber’s Blueprint 2030 Targets and Strategies.