Chamber of CommerceMessages from the President & CEONews

Free Enterprise Isn’t Free: Florida’s Business Community Uniting to Keep Florida, Florida this Legislative Session

Florida is at an important crossroads. Post pandemic, the world will never be the same and the time to focus on making sure the right things continue to happen here in Florida is now.

Free enterprise isn’t free. Unfortunately, there are many forces wanting us to be more like New York, California and Illinois. We can all agree that with businesses fleeing high-cost, big government states and finding their way to the Sunshine State to do business, we must work to make sure Florida remains Florida as we continue relaunching our economy back to pre-COVID levels and beyond.

As we work to keep Florida, Florida and grow our economy to the 10th largest in the world by 2030, the Florida Chamber of Commerce is uniting Florida’s business community for good, fighting for economic opportunities and growing private-sector jobs, and to solve issues that impact Florida’s competitiveness, as well as the future of Florida’s business climate.

While many other states underwent pandemic-induced shutdowns that their economies have still yet to recover from, Florida’s economy continued its momentum forward – growing recently from the 17th to the 15th largest economy in the world, placing us ahead of Saudi Arabia and Mexico. Thanks to the strong leadership of Governor Ron DeSantis, Florida’s businesses remained open, vulnerable Floridians remained safe, and our economy kept moving, while continuing to build Florida’s brand nationally. It is important Florida maintains our momentum as our competition isn’t just regional or national – it’s global.

Continuing Florida’s economic momentum is dependent on the business community’s leadership in passing the right policies that further Florida’s growth, help grow private sector jobs, diversify our economy, and create additional economic opportunities for everyone. Outlined in the Florida Chamber 2022 Business Agenda, the following priorities are just a few of those Florida’s job creators will unite together around this legislative session:

  • Extending the COVID liability protections for our frontline healthcare heroes continuing to serve local communities by providing care in the face of an unprecedented pandemic;
  • Reining in litigation and bad actors to improve Florida’s bottom-5 legal climate, lower the cost of living and doing business, and enhance Florida’s competitiveness;
  • Continuing to advance talent and workforce development solutions to attract and retain the skilled employees necessary to fill more than 500,000 open jobs and further Florida’s economic momentum;
  • Investing in our future growth opportunities by prioritizing forward-thinking, science-driven water, energy, telecommunications and transportation policy; and
  • Providing certainty to our tourism economy and the jobs it supports by authorizing long-term and funding VISIT FLORIDA’s proven tourism marketing efforts.

The choices made by the Legislature matter, and the Florida Chamber is at the forefront as we prepare for Florida’s continued growth.

The Florida Chamber and its partners look forward to continuing to work with Governor Ron DeSantis, Senate President Wilton Simpson, House Speaker Chris Sprowls, the Florida Cabinet, the Florida Legislature, agency leaders in Tallahassee and Washington, D.C., our congressional delegation, and YOU to make sure the right things continue to happen in Florida.

Join us in ensuring the right things continue to happen in Florida. After all, as former speaker of the house Will Weatherford says, “We will never get the policy right if we don’t get the politics right.”

-Mark Wilson is President & CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce

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