Florida Times-Union Editorial Board Reacts to Florida Chamber Competitiveness Agenda

Last week, The Florida Times-Union published an editorial after meeting with leaders from the Florida Chamber. Click the image below to find out why the editorial board wrote: “…the Florida Chamber of Commerce should be applauded.”

Florida Chamber Embarks on Trade Mission to South Korea and Taiwan

Goal is to Enhance Trade Between Florida and These Important Trading Partners

TALLAHASSEE, FL (April 18, 2016) – To strengthen Florida’s competitive edge in the global economy, the Florida Chamber of Commerce this week is participating in an economic trade mission to South Korea and Taiwan – meeting with international leaders to continue growing trade between Florida and these important trading partners.

While there, David Hart, Executive Vice President for the Florida Chamber, will address dignitaries and business leaders and showcase the Florida marketplace. The trade mission is being led by Enterprise Florida, Inc.

According to Alice Ancona, Director of Global Outreach for the Florida Chamber of Commerce, global trade is big business in Florida. That’s because 95 percent of the world’s consumers, who also hold 80 percent of the global purchasing power, are outside the United States.

“International trade allows Florida companies to reach these consumers and helps our state create jobs and economic opportunity, and remain the global hub for trade and logistics. By joining Enterprise Florida on this Export Development Trade Mission, we are able to share why international matters to Florida,” Ancona said.

The Florida Chamber has remained committed to ensuring Free Trade Agreements (FTA) are in place to help create greater economic opportunities, that includes lobbying in Washington, D.C. for the Korea-U.S. FTA of 2012. Currently, Florida exports more than $702 million in commodities to South Korea, and imports $1.9 billion. Florida also enjoys a unique trade relationship with Taiwan that includes exporting $238 million in commodities.

“Building relationships in emerging and growing global economies is an essential tool for Florida to remain competitive,” said Jim Pyburn, Director of Business Development for Port Everglades. “Here in South Korea and Taiwan, we are getting a hands-on look at just how beneficial these relationships can be.”

Florida’s record investments in transportation and infrastructure make it the ideal place to leverage and grow trade and logistics opportunities. Consider the following:

Florida’s freight system moves 740 million tons of freight annually, including international imports and exports, domestic movements to and from other states, and internal shipments within Florida,
Air Cargo generates 36 percent of Florida’s international trade dollars,
Miami International Airport is number one in the U.S. for international freight, and
Four of Florida’s ports are considered the fastest growing in the U.S.: Miami, Palm Beach, Everglades and JAXPORT.

“International Trade is critical to Florida’s global economy, and our freight infrastructure is a key asset in attracting that trade to our state,” said Doug Wheeler, President and CEO of the Florida Ports Council. “Current investments in upgrades and expansions for our state’s ports and freight corridors will ensure that Florida exports can quickly and efficiently get to countries around the world like South Korea and Taiwan.”

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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 Political Operations and the Florida Chamber Foundation. Visit www.FloridaChamber.com for more information.

Urge Key Legislators to Support Florida’s Economic Development Programs

“Your opinion matters…it’s important your elected officials hear from you now, more than ever.”

–  David Hart, Florida Chamber Executive Vice President

The Florida Legislature is poised to start finalizing the budget as early as tomorrow morning. Contact these six key legislators to advocate your support for Florida’s economic development programs. This includes fully funding the economic development toolkit, funding $20 million to market Florida’s business climate across the country, and $1 million for international business start-up programs.

Florida’s Economic Toolkit

The economic toolkit funds all competitive incentives and is used to attract and retain businesses in Florida in several high-wage, high-skilled industries. These incentives include the Quick Action Closing Fund, the Capital Investment Tax Credit, the Brownfields Tax Credit, and others.

Why Does It Matter?

These incentives give Florida a competitive advantage when targeting businesses to our state, or preventing existing businesses from leaving our state. Now is the time to ask the Florida Legislature to fully fund Florida’s economic development toolkit to keep Florida competitive.

Marketing Florida’s Business Climate

Florida currently spends $0 telling Florida’s success story to businesses in other states, while California spends $50 million and New York is in the middle of a $200 million ad campaign. Now is the ideal time to urge key lawmakers in your region to invest $20 million to “Market Florida.”

Why Does It Matter?

Growing Florida’s economy means attracting innovate and diverse businesses to Florida- which helps create jobs and opportunities.

Enterprise Florida’s International Program

EFI’s international program helps small and medium-sized businesses enter or expand into the international market through training and grants. At the conclusion of the regular session, the Florida House had increased EFI’s international program by $1 million. The Florida Chamber needs your help to request the Florida Senate match the House’s budget.

Why Does It Matter?

Two out of three businesses in Florida are small businesses and out of the more than 60,000 Florida exporters, 95 percent are small to mid-sized businesses.

Take Action Now

Contact these key legislators and advocate your support for Florida’s economic development programs.

 

House Approves Florida Chamber Priorities in House Tax Reform Package

The Florida House Finance and Tax Committee passed a $436 million tax cut package today, which included the following important Florida Chamber priorities:

  • Communication Services Tax cut,
  • Reducing sales taxes on commercial leases,
  • Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday,
  • Small Business Saturday Tax Holiday, and
  • Research and Development tax cut.

Florida Chamber Executive Vice President David Hart testified before the committee this morning emphasizing the Florida Chamber’s support of the plan and urging lawmakers to consider dedicating more funds to targeted tax reform. In fact, according to a new Florida Chamber poll, 72 percent of voters support a reduction of the Communication Services Tax.

The House tax relief package was approximately $690 million during the Regular Session, but has since been reduced to approximately $436 million because of budget concerns stemming from other issues, such as healthcare reform.

Florida Chamber Executive Vice President David Hart testifies in support of Florida Chamber targeted tax reform priorities at the House Finance and Tax Committee on June 2, 2015.

Today’s passage of the House Finance and Tax Committee’s tax relief package (HB 33-A) is just the first step, however, as the entire House and Senate must ultimately agree on the content and amount of such legislation during the Special Session.

The Florida Chamber is pleased with today’s vote and will continue to advocate for targeted tax reform that puts money back into the pockets for Florida’s small businesses and families. We will share updates and insights on this subject in the near future.

More Targeted Tax Reforms:

Click here to learn more about what the Florida Chamber is doing to make Florida more competitive via targeted tax cuts.

Florida Chamber Endorses Pro-Jobs, Pro-Business Candidates For Governor, Cabinet and Legislative Primary Races

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Edie Ousley, 850-521-1231
eousley@flchamber.com

Endorsed Candidates Will Help Create Opportunities
for Families and Small Business

TALLAHASSEE, FL. (July 22, 2014) – Following a comprehensive and deliberative candidate selection process, the Florida Chamber of Commerce today announces candidate endorsements for Governor and Cabinet positions as well as legislative primary races. The endorsements result from one of Florida’s most thorough and well-respected pro-business, pro-jobs candidate review processes.

“Good government can only be obtained by electing candidates who understand Florida’s future needs and who are not afraid to make bold decisions that will get us there,” said Marian Johnson, Senior Vice President of Political Operations for the Florida Chamber of Commerce. “Interviewing the candidates and finding where they stand on those issues is an absolute necessity before you can make an informed decision about whom to support. Our interview process is thorough and intense, and allows us to understand a candidate’s position before we make an endorsement.”

The Florida Chamber Political Institute (FCPI) held five candidate interview sessions across the state and interviewed more than 100 non-incumbent candidates – in addition to reviewing each candidate’s completed questionnaire. Incumbent candidates were evaluated on numerous factors, including legislator grades on the Florida Chamber’s Legislative Report Card.

“To create a stable and predictable business climate that helps to create private-sector jobs and grow our state’s economy, we need a legislature that focuses on free enterprise principles and solutions,” said David Hart, Executive Vice President of the Florida Chamber. “We are pleased to support these pro-jobs, pro-business candidates and look forward to mobilizing our employer members and local chamber of commerce partners as well as their more than three million employees with far-reaching grassroots advocacy efforts.”

Below is list of Florida Chamber candidate endorsements for Governor and Cabinet positions as well as legislative primary races.

Governor:

  • Rick Scott

 

Florida Cabinet:

  • Attorney General – Pam Bondi
  • Commissioner of Agriculture – Adam Putnam
  • Chief Financial Officer – Jeff Atwater

 

SENATE – Primary Election Endorsements:

  • John Thrasher (R) – SD 06
  • Thad Altman (R) – SD 16
  • Jack Latvala (R) – SD 20
  • Lizbeth Benacquisto (R) – SD – 30
  • Joe Negron (R) – SD 32
  • Oscar Braynon (D) – SD – 36

 

HOUSE – Primary Election Endorsements:

  • Doug Broxson (R) – HD 03
  • Brad Drake (R) – HD 05
  • Jay Trumbull (R) – HD 06
  • Jason Brodeur (R) – HD 28
  • Robert Cortes (R) – HD 30
  • Terri Seefeldt (R) – HD 31
  • Colleen Burton (R) – HD 40
  • Ricardo Rangel (D) – HD 43
  • Eric Eisnaugle (R) – HD 44
  • Rene Plasencia (R) – HD 49
  • Tom Goodson (R) – HD 50
  • Ed Narain (D) – HD 61
  • James Grant (R) – HD 64
  • Chris Sprowls (R) – HD 65
  • Chris Latvala (R) – HD 67
  • Bill Young (R) – HD 68
  • Julio Gonzalez (R) – HD 74
  • Dane Eagle (R) – HD 77
  • Matt Caldwell (R) – HD 79
  • Kevin Rader (D) – HD 81
  • Ben Sorensen (D) – HD 100
  • Michael Joseph (D) – HD 107
  • Bryan Avila (R) – HD 111

The Florida Chamber will announce additional endorsements in the coming days.

 

 

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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 Political Operations and the Florida Chamber Foundation. Visit www.FloridaChamber.com for more information.