Commerce Secretary Jamal Sowell and EFI’s Economic Plan

We are pleased to welcome Florida’s Secretary of Commerce and Enterprise Florida President and CEO Jamal Sowell as a featured speaker at the Florida Chamber Foundation’s 2019 Future of Florida Forum.

Secretary Sowell will discuss Governor DeSantis’ bold vision for economic growth in Florida, highlighting the Governor’s recent business development missions, industries that are important to Florida’s economy including aviation/aerospace and financial services, and opportunities for the business community to help expand and diversify Florida’s economy.

Register today to reserve your spot and be a part of this discussion and other important conversations on how we grow Florida’s economy from the 17th largest in the world to the 10th largest on the planet.

2019 Future of Florida Forum

October 28-29, 2019
Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress
One Grand Cypress Boulevard
Orlando, Florida

The Fight for Jobs and Economic Growth

Voice of Reason

March 7, 2017

Today marks the start of the 2017 Legislative Session, and the fight to secure Florida’s future is more important than ever. That’s because jobs, and the future of economic growth in Florida, are under attack.

At the Florida Chamber of Commerce, we’re on the front lines and fighting for job creators. We’re carrying your message to #MakeFLMoreCompetitive through jobs and economic growth to lawmakers. In fact, the Florida Chamber’s 2017 Competitiveness Agenda provides a step-by-step legislative roadmap – focusing resources and expertise to advance jobs, competitiveness and economic opportunity for Floridians.

The road to securing Florida’s future won’t be easy. In fact, this week, the Florida House of Representatives will vote to end economic diversification efforts and eliminate Florida’s economic development toolkit, international programs, marketing and small business assistance programs (HB 7005). Worse yet, the Florida House is also fully prepared to gut VISIT Florida and withdraw investments originally intended for tourism marketing (HB 9).

At the Florida Chamber, we believe that our state must continue to invest in initiatives that support diversifying the economy and attracting visitors and businesses to our state. And we’re not alone in our fight.


“We have to keep diversifying our economy and investing in programs that actually help businesses grow jobs here in Florida,” GOVERNOR RICK SCOTT said today during his State of the State address which also expanded on his continuing efforts to never stop fighting for Florida families.


Throughout the next 60 day Legislative Session, the Florida Legislature can take additional steps to help ensure a stronger business climate that will grow jobs and the economy now and into the future. Chief among the Florida Chamber’s recommendations to #MakeFLMoreCompetitive are:

  • Fixing Florida’s broken workers’ comp system, and stopping the $1.5 billion jobs tax,
    Improving Florida’s Bottom 10 legal climate, which creates a $3,400 tax for a family of four each year,
  • Resolving Florida’s increasing Homeowners Fraud Tax that results from Assignment of Benefits abuse, which increases homeowners insurance premiums for families,
  • Protecting Florida’s family-friendly brand from expanded Las Vegas-style casino gambling,
  • Insuring Florida continues to attract and retain jobs, and
  • Preparing Florida’s workforce through continued improvements to our K-12 system, increasing educational opportunities in higher education and 21st century vocational trades – all to help ensure a talented workforce is Florida’s best long-term economic development strategy.

While there’s an awful lot of good going on in Florida, the truth is that things are fragile, and the Florida Legislature has the opportunity this session to ensure we #MakeFLMoreCompetitive for families and job creators. After all, people matter and jobs matter.

Free enterprise works, but it is never free. If you believe in business, support us. When we win, you win. When you win, Florida wins.

We look forward to working with Governor Rick Scott, the Florida Cabinet, Senate President Joe Negron, House Speaker Richard Corcoran and the entire Florida Legislature to continue making sure the right things happen in Florida.

Get Involved

Urge Senators to Fund International Programs

With the Florida Legislative Special Session underway, the Florida Chamber needs your help to advocate for funding for Florida’s international program. This program, ran through Enterprise Florida (EFI), 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 House had increased EFI’s international program by $1 million.  The Florida Chamber needs your help to request the Senate to match the House’s budget.

Click the button below to send your Senator an email urging them to consider matching the House’s EFI international program funding proposal.


Why is This Funding Request Important?

80% of global purchasing power, 92% of economic growth, and 95% of consumers are outside of the USA. Enterprise Florida’s international program helps businesses wishing to expand or enter the international marketplace with marketing plans, counseling, and funding.

The benefits to small and medium businesses that export are significant:

  • Exporting companies have higher employment growth than non-exporting companies
    Fluctuations in the economy impact companies that export less
  • Wages in exporting companies are higher by about 15 percent compared to wages in companies that don’t export

Contact Your Senator Now

Click the button below to send your Senator an email urging them to consider matching the House’s EFI international program funding proposal.



Brownfield Efforts Facilitate Economic Growth

This legislative session, the Florida Chamber helped pass a bill that simplified the designation of a brownfield through clear and efficient government processes.

“This legislation will serve as a catalyst for significant economic development and voluntary cleanup of contaminated properties in Florida by addressing two key issues that served as impediments to the voluntary cleanup and redevelopment of Brownfield sites in Florida,” said Florida Brownfields Association President Michael Sznapstajler.

Brownfields, areas of contaminated land that require redevelopment and clean-up, can be a significant element in community revitalization, especially within community redevelopment areas, empowerment zones or other areas.

During the most recent legislative session, the Florida Chamber helped to successfully defeat trial lawyer-friendly language that would have encouraged attorneys to file frivolous lawsuits at the expense of Florida’s taxpayers against brownfield redevelopments.

Thanks in part to our continued efforts; brownfield initiatives have strengthened local economies throughout our state. In fact, a recent report released by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection shows that the Florida Brownfield Redevelopment Program has led to new capital investments of $194 million in 2013.


Other report findings indicate:

  • Since inception of the program, 75 contaminated sites have been cleaned up,
  • So far, more than 65,000 confirmed and projected direct and indirect jobs have been created, and
  • To date, $2.5 billion in capital investment has been made in designated brownfield areas.

“Florida’s Brownfield Redevelopment Program continues to facilitate the successful redevelopment of underutilized areas throughout the state,” said Jorge Caspary, director of DEP’s Division of Waste Management. “This program not only makes it possible to mitigate contaminated sites, but also has created more than 10,000 jobs and stimulates the economy in the process.”


Stay Connected:

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