CFO Jeff Atwater: “The Welcome Mat Is Always Out In Florida”

It’s no secret Florida is a welcoming state. Our weather alone attracts more than 94 million visitors a year and our business friendly climate and zero personal income tax make starting a business, family or venture in Florida an easy choice. So it’s no surprise Florida CFO Jeff Atwater rose up to defend our great state when he wrote a letter to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo comparing Florida to New York.

The catalyst? New York’s ad campaign “Startup New York” and “Open for Business,” which appeared on television sets around our state, and boasted of New York’s “business friendly” climate.

“As the Chief Financial Officer of the State of Florida, I want to thank you for your recent interest in our great state and for spending the tax dollars of New York advertising here,” wrote CFO Jeff Atwater. “It is perfectly understandable that you would want to stay in touch with so many former New Yorkers who have already discovered the allure of the Sunshine State and chose to relocate to Florida. Thanks, in part, to the wisdom of their decisions, Florida will soon surpass New York as the third largest state in the union. We have appreciated the contributions of your erstwhile friends and neighbors, and will continue to welcome them to our fine state.”

The facts are clear: Florida is creating more jobs and getting more Floridians back on their feet, our AAA bonding is back and our state continues to do away with debt. Our business friendly climate is ranked as the second best in the nation and a recent report names Florida the number two state for tech-sector job growth.

The Florida Chamber is proud of the hard work by Floridians, the Florida Legislature and Florida’s diverse businesses for creating a state that has been heralded as the model of recovery after a tough economic recession.

Like CFO Atwater, we wish New York the best of luck as they strive for a business climate like ours. In the meantime, we’ll enjoy a slice of key lime pie, soak up the sun rays and keep moving Florida forward.

Read CFO Atwater’s full letter here.

Get Involved:

The Florida Chamber is actively involved in making sure our state continues to grow and create private-sector jobs. Continue the conversation at the Florida Chamber Foundation’s 2014 Future of Florida Forum by registering here.


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