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.

Strengthening Florida’s Leadership in Space Exploration

 

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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.

American Airlines in the Sunshine State

While the majority of our Florida operations are based at Miami International Airport, American Airlines operates 548 daily departures in 16 cities throughout the Sunshine State, providing access to 130 destinations around the world, including connections to Latin America, the Caribbean, and Asia. From Pensacola to Key West and nearly everywhere in between, Floridians are able to enjoy a convenient, safe and world class travel experience.  Our service from the vast majority of the airports we serve in Florida provides convenient access to our hubs in Miami, Charlotte, Dallas-Fort Worth, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, Chicago and Phoenix.

U.S. airlines are growing capacity, returning to profitability and refocusing on long-term business strategies. Today, commercial aviation keeps nearly 11 million Americans employed in secure, stable jobs with wages that pay approximately $22,000 more per year compared to the overall national private-sector average. In Florida, American Airlines directly employs more than 14,000 team members and when combined with induced and indirect jobs contributes a total statewide employment impact of more than 257,000 jobs.

American is always evaluating its network and has added several new domestic and international destinations from Miami.  This winter, we will start flying to a dozen new destinations including Pereira, Colombia; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Knoxville, Tennessee; and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean.  And American boasts a new dot on the Florida map with service to Panama City, Florida, served from our Charlotte and Dallas-Fort Worth hubs.

 

Florida is a Premier Aviation and Aerospace Location

Florida’s unique history of spaceflight, an entire aviation industry, existing workforce and infrastructure, and unique geography continues to help grow existing Florida companies and attract new and exciting private ventures.

If you believe Florida’s aviation and aerospace industry is essential, sign the petition today.

Florida Continues to be a Premier Aviation and Aerospace Location

 

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Florida continues to be a premier aviation and aerospace location, which employs more than 85,000 Floridians. The 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 economy continues to grow and Florida’s aviation and aerospace industry is an industry of historic and future importance.

 

Florida Space Leaders to Visit Capitol

NASA-KSC, USAF, Space Florida to Host Aerospace Panel Luncheon at Governor’s Club

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL (January 16, 2018) – Promoting the economic impact of the space industry, Florida’s aerospace leaders will visit Tallahassee on February 14, 2018, for Florida Space Day, sharing with legislators the opportunities the industry brings to Florida and the nation.

“The number of launch operations in suborbital, low-Earth, and geostationary orbits, as well as federal program initiatives involving Orion and the Space Launch System for deep space human exploration, is expected to continue to increase in the upcoming years,” said Pedro Medelius, ASRC Federal Space and Defense Chief Technologist and Co-Chair of Florida Space Day 2018. “New facilities at Exploration Park, just outside the gates of Kennedy Space Center, along with large commercial space companies establishing operations in Florida, have resulted in the creation of many high-tech jobs. Thanks to the support from the Florida legislature, the State continues to be at the forefront of space exploration, even with active competition from spaceports in other states and countries. And as we experienced in 2017, Florida will once again have a very robust launch manifest in 2018.”

This year’s Florida Space Day participants include AECOM, Abacus Technology, A-C-T Environmental & Infrastructure, AECOM, Aerojet Rocketdyne, ASRC Federal, Astronaut Scholarship Foundations, Blue Origin, The Boeing Company, CSS Dynamac, Delaware North Companies, Embraer, Energy Florida, Harris Corporation, Jacobs, Lockheed Martin, Millennium Engineering & Integration Company, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Orbital ATK, Space Coast Launch Services, Space Florida, SpaceX, TIP Technologies and United Launch Alliance (ULA).

Strengthening Florida’s Role in Space Exploration

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As NASA’s role continues to change, private aerospace companies are playing increasingly important roles in space exploration. Florida must aggressively compete to remain the preeminent location for private spaceflight activities, engage in more research and development and capitalize on 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 the state.

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 track current initiatives to fund aviation improvements and retain 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.

While the manned Space Shuttle program has come to an end, Florida remains well positioned to attract aviation and aerospace companies and grow existing Florida companies due to our state’s unique history of spaceflight, geographic and workforce advantages, and tax climate. We must also continue to fight against environmental extremists who continue to stand in the way of proposed spaceport expansion and creation. Having aerospace corporate headquarters and more spaceports in our state will build on Florida’s rich history as a leader in spaceflight activity.

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.

Military & Defense Industry Contributes Nearly $80 Billion to Florida’s Economy

Florida’s military and defense industry not only keeps us safe, it also drives the state’s economic growth by contributing an estimated $79.8 billion to the economy and providing nearly 775,000 jobs for Floridians each year. Every business in Florida is within 100 miles of a military installation, providing growth opportunities for defense companies and creating a robust network of businesses in the military and defense supply chain. Is your job tied to the military economy?

As highlighted in a recent Florida Wins video, Florida’s military and defense industry not only creates high-wage, high skill jobs, it attracts some of the world’s leading innovators to create new products that improve our daily lives and advance the state’s innovation economy. With the industry’s total economic impact expected to grow to $100 billion a year by 2030, how will we ensure continued support of this vital sector?

Florida is the #1 State for Aviation/Aerospace Manufacturing Attractiveness

With more than 2,000 aviation and aerospace companies calling Florida home, a competitive business climate and a talent pool of 80,000, it’s easy to see why PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) ranked Florida as the top state for aviation and aerospace manufacturing attractiveness for 2015.

Aviation and aerospace is a vital market not only because it supports Florida’s military and defense economy, which accounts for nearly 10 percent of the state’s GDP, but also because of the high-skill, high-wage jobs it creates. With 2 million more jobs needed by 2030, these are the types of jobs Florida needs to diversify and expand our economy in the future.

“Florida’s unique history of spaceflight, coupled with its geographic advantages and highly-skilled workforce, make the state an ideal location for aviation and aerospace manufacturing,” said Jim Kuzma, Chief Operating Officer of Space Florida. “We must continue to attract aviation and aerospace companies and grow existing Florida companies to ensure the state remains a global competitor in this important industry.”

Get Involved

Jim Kuzma and other industry experts will lead discussions on finding solutions to the challenges that face Florida’s military and defense industry at the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Military, Defense & Veterans Opportunities Summit on Thursday, August 6, in Orlando. Today is the last day to register for this event.