Supporting Florida’s Veterans, Defense and Military Industry


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Why It Matters to Florida

From small, family owned industries to multi-national corporations, Florida wins when private-sector job growth aligns with employer needs. Florida’s well-rounded military and defense industry creates highly-trained, highlyskilled workers each and every day. Florida has the third largest population of veterans in the nation at more than 1.5 million — 14 percent of the Sunshine State’s population. In fact, nearly one in every 10 Floridians is a veteran and Florida’s military and defense industry is the fourth largest contributor to Florida’s economy.

Florida’s Competitiveness Agenda

Championing Florida’s valuable veteran population by advocating for our state’s military and defense industry and opposing cuts that disproportionately impact Florida’s economy will allow Florida’s 20 active military bases and three combatant command centers, and Florida’s defense contractors to provide valuable high-wage jobs and grow Florida’s economy. In an effort to lead the nation in defense and cybersecurity, the Florida Chamber of Commerce supports initiatives and policies that protect Florida’s businesses and strengthens Florida’s defenses both on land and online.

The Fight for Free Enterprise Continues

Florida’s military and defense industry helps employ nearly 775,000 Floridians each year and contributes almost $80 billion to our economy. Our state is also home to more than 20 military bases and three combatant command centers. The Florida Chamber will continue to support efforts to keep Florida the most military and veteran-friendly state by supporting efforts that protect from the next round of BRAC (Base Realignment and Closure).

Act Now

Join our fight to protect our active military and defense industry. Florida wins when we stay the course toward free enterprise and support our state’s veterans.

Small Business, Big Threat: Florida SBDC Network Offers Education, Resources to Arm Small Businesses Against Cyber-Attacks


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Cybersecurity has become an increased threat for Florida’s small businesses. The rise in technology, faster internet, and enhanced connectivity yields greater cybersecurity threats, especially for small businesses, who often lack the resources and expertise to safeguard their employees, profits, business, and customers.

According to The Ponemon Institute’s 2017 State of Cybersecurity in Small & Medium-Sized Businesses report, 61 percent of businesses experienced a cyber attack last year, up from 55 percent in 2016. Further, according to UPS Capital, 60 percent of small businesses go out of business within six months of an attack, which can cost between $84,000 and $148,000. These statistics show that small businesses can no longer afford to sit back and hope that it won’t happen to them.

To answer the call to protect small businesses from cybersecurity threats, the Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network, the state’s principal provider of small business assistance, recently partnered with Ridge Global, a globally-recognized risk management and cybersecurity firm, to launch the Byte-Size Small Business Cybersecurity Program. The program, provided at no-cost to small businesses statewide, offers small businesses the education and resources to arm themselves against cyberattacks.

Through the Byte-Size program, the Florida SBDC Network offers workshops covering four topics: basic cybersecurity threats to small businesses, security, remediation, and cybersecurity resources. The foundation of these workshops is an in-depth resource guide and toolkit to help small businesses be more cybersecure.

In addition, Florida SBDC Network professionally certified business consultants are also available to help small businesses prepare comprehensive cybersecurity plans and with other individual needs at no cost.

In December 2017, the Florida SBDC Network partnered with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Florida International University, and the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce to hold the Florida Cybersecurity Conference in Miami. The event, which served as the ceremonial kick-off of the network’s Byte-Size program, brought together top experts both locally and nationally from government, law enforcement, and the private sector to help small businesses develop, evaluate, and strengthen their cybersecurity programs.

To learn more about the program, and to find a workshop near you, please visit


Sigh the Petition Today

Cyber threats are increasing in frequency, scale, and sophistication. If you believe Florida’s business community and government must work together to address expanding cyber security threats, sign the petition today.

‘Cyber security is everyone’s business’


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“Cyber security is everyone’s business,” says Dr. Eman El-Sheikh, Director of the Center for Cybersecurity at the University of West Florida, on the latest edition of the Florida Chamber’s Bottom Line.

“Our vision is driven by understanding and recognition that cybersecurity affects each and every one of us and it needs to be everyone’s business. We’re no longer in a world where we can identify one member of the organization and say ‘you’re the security guru, you need to handle it,’” said Dr. El-Sheikh. “So, given that vision, we’ve started with our K-12 outreach effort, looking at how we can enhance cybersecurity awareness and interest starting with kindergarten, elementary school and beyond.”

The Center for Cybersecurity at the University of West Florida is the only institution in the Florida that receives federal funding from the National Security Agency to run the GenCyber Program, summer camps designed for students K-12 to increase interest in cyber security.


Sign the Petition Today

Cyber threats are increasing in frequency, scale, and sophistication. If you believe Florida’s business community and government must work together to address expanding cyber security threats, sign the petition today.