Atlanta Leader Explains, “Why Florida?”
From taxes, population growth and job projections to weather and quality of life- businesses have many different factors to consider when making expansion or growth decisions. For those businesses headquartered out of the state, Florida presents a unique opportunity for competitive growth.
Consider these Florida facts:
- Florida has added more than 840,000 private-sector jobs since 2010,
- Florida Chamber-backed education reforms have helped 4th grade readers rank number 1 in the nation, African American student achievement gains are the highest in the nation, Hispanic graduation rates are the highest in the nation, and high school graduation rates are at an 11 year high,
- Florida’s business tax climate ranks 5th best in the nation according to Tax Foundation,
- In 2014 Florida’s quality of life ranked number one according to Chief Executive Magazine,
- Florida is ranked second in the nation for best business climate according to Chief Executive Magazine, and
- Florida workers are not subject to personal income tax.
As a leader with a General Electric business headquartered in Atlanta, it’s hard to ignore the welcome mat that Florida has worked hard to create. I watched as Florida’s economy, along with the nation, plummeted during the recession. I also watched unemployment rates skyrocket to more than 11 percent. But I have also watched Florida businesses bounce back, and stronger than ever before. Florida has truly become a model for economic growth and recovery and the state as a whole, is better for that. The Florida Chamber united the businesses community under free enterprise principles that fueled the growth of today and more importantly, continued growth. When we consider business expansion projects, we always have options among several states. But as we decided to grow our GE Oil and Gas business, adding almost 500 jobs, the question was no longer “why Florida” but instead, “why not Florida?”
Written by Trey Paris, U.S. Manager of State Government Relations with the General Electric Company, Chair of the Florida Chamber’s Florida Caucus.
The Florida Chamber’s Florida Caucus is designed for leaders who live out of state but have principle responsibilities in Florida. Interested in how you can engage? Contact Katie Richardson at KRichardson@flchamber.com.