A Tribute to Governor Rick Scott
Florida’s New $1 Trillion Economy Creates Opportunities
July 30, 2018
Opportunities That Can Also Overcome Challenges
I’ll never forget where I was on September 29, 2007.
It was a Saturday, and I was in the Atlanta airport, walking to my next connection to catch a flight to D.C. for a meeting with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. As I was keeping pace with others focused on catching their next flight, I happened to look over and saw a Wall Street Journal newspaper box and was immediately frozen in time.
The front-page headline said, “Is Florida Over?” Well, as the CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce, you can probably imagine that it was not the type of headline you’d want to see in one of the nation’s most widely read newspapers.
A few years later, Florida made an incredible economic turnaround, and soon, even the WSJ would notice and write part two of that story – Has Florida found the secret to saving the economy?
Florida has come a long way in the last 10 years. In fact, in the past five years, Florida’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has grown by 27.2 percent, a rate that puts Florida’s GDP growth among the top five states in the country. And during the same time, Florida has produced more than 1 out of 11 jobs in the U.S.
As Will Weatherford, Managing Partner of Weatherford Capitol, former Speaker of the Florida House, and Florida Chamber Board member, recently wrote in Florida Politics:
“You would be hard pressed to find another economy with such robust growth. Florida has seen year-over-year GDP growth, jobs continue to be created and our unemployment rate continues to drop and has remained below the national average for the past several years.”
The good news is that Florida continues to break economic records. Earlier this month, Florida’s GDP topped $1 trillion. Florida Chamber Foundation Chief Economist Dr. Jerry Parrish, just this past January, predicted that Florida would reach this new milestone during 2018. And just as Dr. Parrish predicted, Florida officially hit the new $1 trillion GDP in the last few weeks. To put this into perspective, if Florida was an independent country, our $1 trillion economy now ranks us as the 17th largest economy in the world – ahead of Saudi Arabia, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Argentina. Now, as Dr. Parrish explains, Florida is adding $2.74 billion each day to the state’s GDP.
“Becoming a $1 trillion economy means Florida is continuing to grow and create jobs, keeping unemployment lower than the national average, and creating economic opportunity,” Dr. Parrish said recently.
Florida’s GDP Milestone Garnered the Attention of National and International Headlines
- Palm Beach PostU.S. News
- Orlando Sentinel
- Tampa Bay Times
- The Capitolist
- Atlanta Journal Constitution
- MyFox Memphis
- KISS 104.1
- Dayton Daily News
- WFTV9 ABC
- Sunshine State News.
Of course, achieving a $1 trillion GDP is due in large part to Governor Scott, the Florida Cabinet and Florida Legislature. Consider that, until just a few years ago, Florida punished manufacturing investments twice (once at the state level, once at the local level). At the urging of the Florida Chamber, the legislature and Governor Scott removed the Machinery & Equipment (M&E) sales tax. Understanding that manufacturing jobs have the highest value added, removing this tax is making great strides and helping Florida climb in GDP rankings.
“This is an historic moment for Florida reaching a record $1 trillion in GDP. By working every day to create private-sector jobs, we’ve been able to increase Florida’s GDP by more than $270 billion – 37 percent – since 2010. When I came into office I made it very clear that we would get our economy back on track. Within seven and a half years, private-sector businesses have created more than 1.5 million jobs and Florida’s unemployment is at a low 3.8 percent. Florida’s growing economy is producing real results for families across our state and we now have the 17th largest economy in the world,” said Governor Rick Scott.
“Getting Florida’s economy out of the ditch and back on track has long been one of our state’s top priorities, and today’s announcement that our economy surpassed $1 trillion is incredible news for all Floridians. This milestone is further evidence that the pro-business policies and priorities championed by Governor Scott, the Cabinet and the legislature are working. Florida’s economy is on a roll, but complacency is not a strategy and we must continue to do all that we can to make the Florida’s economy as strong and resilient as possible,” said Adam Putnam, Commissioner of Agriculture.
“Florida’s strong economy is a testament to the work done over the past seven years to create an environment that keeps taxes low, reduces our debt, and makes Florida an attractive place to live, work, and raise a family. When we remove unnecessary burdens and overregulation, businesses can grow and create new jobs, while attracting new talent and companies to our state. It’s important that we continue this growth trend, and the policies that have helped us achieve this feat, to ensure Florida remains a top global economy,” said Jimmy Patronis, Chief Financial Officer.
According to TheFloridaScorecard.org, Florida has created 170,500 jobs over the past year, and has steadily kept unemployment rates below the national average. At the same time, achievement gaps are closing in Florida’s Pre-K-12 system, Florida continues to break visitation records, and our state is continuing to diversify its economy.
And while this growth is good news for Florida, challenges and opportunities remain. The Florida Chamber Foundation’s Florida 2030 research initiative (being released this year) shows the gaps Florida must close in order to continue to be globally competitive and grow smarter by 2030 and beyond. Consider that while achievement gaps are closing, 43 percent of 3rd graders aren’t reading at or above grade level. And while 1 in 11 jobs in the nation in the last five years were created in Florida, our state’s 14.8 percent poverty rate includes 21.3 percent of children under age 18. While Florida is better suited than most states in these areas, the Florida Chamber will continue to lead reforms that create economic opportunity.
As former Speaker Weatherford has said, “A $1 trillion economy is proof that when we stay focused on Florida’s long-term future and remain stalwart in our commitment to quality education, free enterprise and an unmatched quality of life, it suggests that we can continue to be one of the most exciting economic stories in the world.”
While we can certainly pay tribute to Florida’s new $1 trillion GDP success, we must also stay focused. The challenges that remain should be viewed as opportunities to further secure Florida’s future. Your dedication toward the common goal of making Florida more competitive, will help ensure that future Wall Street Journal headlines focus on economic prosperity for all.
Register today for Florida’s premier forum focused on growing Florida to its full potential – the 2018 Florida Chamber Foundation Future of Florida Forum.
Gov. Scott: Nearly Twenty Thousand New Jobs Means Real Results for Families
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — On June 15, 2018, Governor Rick Scott announced that Florida businesses have created 19,000 private-sector jobs in May and 179,000 in the past year, for a total of 1,539,800 jobs since December 2010. Florida’s annual job growth rate has outpaced the nation for 73 of the past 74 months. The only month that Florida did not exceed the nation was due to Hurricane Irma. In May, Florida’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.8 percent, a drop of 7.0 percentage points since December 2010; this drop is faster than the national decline of 5.5 percentage points.
Governor Scott said, “Florida’s growing economy is producing real results for families across our state. Every month, private-sector businesses are adding jobs, dropping our unemployment, making it easier for every Floridian to find great work. When I became Governor, I set out to create an environment where our private sector could flourish – and that remains my focus as we continue to outpace the nation. It’s clear – cutting taxes and investing in what matters to families works, and the rest of the country should take notice.”
Florida’s annual job growth rate of 2.4 percent continues to exceed the nation’s rate of 1.9 percent. In the past year, 124,000 people entered Florida’s labor force, a growth of 1.2 percent, which is greater than the national labor force growth rate of 1.1 percent.
Cissy Proctor, Executive Director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, said, “Florida’s economy is thriving under Governor Scott’s leadership and through our efforts to grow and attract businesses. Our talented workforce and quality infrastructure support continued economic prosperity in the Sunshine State. Since 2010, more than 1.5 million jobs have been created showing the nation that Florida is the best state in the nation to live the American Dream.”
Other positive economic indicators include:
- Private-sector industries gaining the most jobs over-the-year were:
- Professional and business services with 39,200 new jobs;
- Leisure and hospitality with 37,200 new jobs;
- Construction with 31,300 new jobs;
- Education and health services with 24,500 new jobs; and
- Financial activities with 17,200 new jobs.
- Florida job postings showed 242,546 openings in May 2018.
- Consumer Sentiment is 100.6, up from 70.2 in 2010.
To view the May 2018 employment data visit www.floridajobs.org/labor-market-information/labor-market-information-press-releases/monthly-press-releases.
Florida Chamber Foundation Receives 50th Anniversary Resolution
On March 8, the Florida Chamber Foundation celebrated its 50th anniversary – and we have come a long way in 50 years. We may have started off as the Florida State Chamber of Commerce Education Foundation in 1968, but since then we have grown to be Florida’s leading private, non-profit, non-partisan, business-led think-tank. And it’s thanks to our members that we are able to continue our legacy and look forward to the next 50 years.
Deborah Curry, Sue Homant, Karen Moore, and Cynthia O’Connell for stood with us as we received a resolution from Florida Governor Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet.
Overall Voters Feeling Good About Florida’s Direction, But Undecided In 2018 Governor’s Race
TALLAHASSEE, FL (January 11, 2018) – A majority of Florida voters believe Florida is headed in the right direction, according to the latest statewide political poll released by the Florida Chamber Political Institute (FCPI).
In its first statewide poll of the New Year, 56 percent of likely voters believe Florida is headed in the right direction. Although the majority of voters approve of Florida’s direction, the views differ based on party. Republicans are especially optimistic at 76 percent, more than half of NPA’s (56 percent) believe Florida is moving in the right direction, while less than half of Democrats (34 percent) believe Florida is headed in the right direction.
More than half (57 percent) of all registered voters approve of Governor Rick Scott’s job performance. Among parties, Republicans overwhelmingly approve of his performance by 82 percent, while 30 percent of Democrats and 56 percent of NPA’s approve.
Ten months before electing a new Governor, voters from both parties are beginning to consider which candidates they will support, although there are more undecided than decided candidates.
Among candidates on the Democrat ticket, Gwen Graham leads with 14 percent, however 64 percent of voters remain undecided. Philip Levine garners 7 percent, Andrew Gillum garners 6 percent and Chris King garners 1 percent.
On the Republican ticket for candidates, 23 percent support Adam Putnam and 18 percent support Ron DeSantis, while 50 percent are undecided.
“Voters will elect a new Governor, all new members of the Florida Cabinet and 140 members to the Florida House and Senate. It’s still very early in what will be a busy 2018 election cycle. In the coming months, voters will begin to take a much closer look at the candidates for office,” said Marian Johnson, Senior Vice President, Political Operations for the Florida Chamber of Commerce.
On the issues that matter to voters, education tops the list at 17 percent, followed by jobs and the economy at 13 percent and healthcare at 12 percent. Immigration and global warming remain a concern – garnering 5 percentage points each. While issues like guns, terrorism and marijuana barely register among voters.
When considering constitutional amendments that will appear on the ballot, Amendment 1 would pass if voted on today, while Amendment 2 is inching closer to the 60 percent threshold for passage.
Amendment 1 calls for increasing the homestead exemption:
- 61 percent of voters support increasing the homestead exemption for homeowners.
- 69 percent of Republicans, 60 percent of NPA’s and 52 percent of Democrats support increasing the homestead exemption for homeowners.
Amendment 2 would make a 10 percent cap on annual non-homestead property tax increases permanent:
- 54 percent of likely voters support making the 10 percent cap on annual non-homesteaded property tax permanent.
- 58 percent of Republicans, 51 percent of NPA’s and 50 percent of Democrats support making the 10 percent cap on annual non-homesteaded property tax permanent.
Beyond the Florid Chamber’s political polling, voter registration indicates interesting trends:
- 42 percent of all new voters registered since January 1, 2018 are registering as NPA’s
- 27 percent are registering as Democrats
- 27 percent are registering as Republicans
- 54 percent of new Hispanic voters are registering as NPA’s
- 32 percent are registering as Democrats
- 14 percent are registering as Republicans
ABOUT THIS POLL: The Florida Chamber of Commerce political poll was conducted on January 2-5, 2018 by Voter Opinions during live telephone interviews of likely voters, and has a margin of error of +/-4 percent. The sample size included 235 Democrats, 259 Republicans and 106 Others for a total of 600 respondents statewide. The samples for the polls conducted by the Florida Chamber are consistently drawn from likely voters and newly registered voters, meaning those voters who have the propensity and past performance of voting in elections, rather than simply including registered voters. Voters are again screened for likelihood of voting.
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 Florida Political Operations and the Florida Chamber Foundation. Visit www.FloridaChamber.com for more information.
October is Manufacturing Month. Governor Rick Scott Issues Proclamation
October 1 marks the start of National Manufacturing Month; see the proclamation issued this week by Florida Governor Rick Scott recognizing the contributions of the manufacturing sector to the economy.
Did You Know Manufacturing Contributes More Than $40 Billion to Florida’s Economy?
In fact, for every 10 jobs created in Florida’s export-oriented manufacturing, 12 more jobs are created in transportation, warehousing and retail. Florida has more than 330,000 manufacturing employees earning more than $54,000 annually, which is higher than the state’s average wage. Click here to learn more.
Florida Chamber Applauds Signing of Tax Relief Bill
Florida Chamber of Commerce Applauds Governor Scott for Signing Bill Lowering Taxes on Job Creators and Families; Targeted Tax Reform Bill Will Reduce Florida-Only Business Rent Tax & Provide Sales Tax Relief for Families
The Florida Chamber of Commerce today applauds Florida Governor Rick Scott for lowering taxes on job creators and families by signing HB 7109, sponsored by Representative Jim Boyd (R-Bradenton) and Senator Kelli Stargel (R-Lakeland), into law. This Florida Chamber-backed bill takes a major step toward addressing much-needed targeted tax reforms, including a reduction of the Florida-only business rent tax – saving job creators approximately $61 million, and a further increase in the oversubscribed R&D tax credit for innovators.
“The signing of this year’s tax package marks the first step in what we hope will be the eventual complete elimination of the business rent tax,” said FRANK WALKER, Vice President of Government Affairs for the Florida Chamber of Commerce. “With his signature today, Governor Rick Scott once again demonstrated his commitment to reducing the tax burden on Florida families and local businesses.
This Targeted Tax Reform Bill Will:
- Reduce the cost to lease business space, allowing businesses to reinvest the savings and hire additional employees, provide more employee benefits or strengthen capital,
- Encourages research and development (R&D) in Florida, spurring innovation, growth and high-wage jobs, and
- Provides back-to-school and hurricane preparedness sales tax holidays for Florida families.
The Florida Chamber and its Business Rent Tax Coalition have long-encouraged lawmakers to reduce, and eventually phase out, the Florida-only business rent tax and to continue to invest in innovation via the research and development tax credit.
- Learn more about the Florida Chamber’s efforts to support targeted tax reform by clicking here.
- Learn more about the Business Rent Tax Coalition’s fight to reduce the Florida-only business rent tax by clicking here.
Governor Scott Signs Florida Chamber-Backed Ridesharing Bill Into Law
Florida Governor Rick Scott today removed a major road block to ridesharing technologies by signing into law a Florida Chamber of Commerce-backed bill that embraces innovation, strengthens job growth and provides ridesharing opportunities for Floridians and the 112+ million annual visitors to Florida.
Sponsored by Senator Jeff Brandes (R- St. Petersburg) and Representative Chris Sprowls (R-Clearwater), HB 221 creates consistent and responsible statewide regulations for transportation network companies. By setting reasonable insurance standards, the newly signed law not only helps ensure safety for riders and the public in general, it encourages innovation in the growing ridesharing sector – and the jobs and economic activity they bring with them – to move to Florida.
Why It Matters
Florida Chamber Foundation research shows that by 2030, Florida’s population will grow to approximately 26 million, an addition of six million new residents. Long-term forecasts predict Florida will have more than 160 million annual visitors by 2025. Consistent regulations like those provided by the passage of this bill are an important step toward ensuring Florida’s transportation infrastructure can accommodate population growth and help the state remain economically competitive well into the future.
“The Florida Chamber thanks the Florida Legislature and Governor Rick Scott for sending a strong signal to innovative companies that they are welcome in Florida,” said DAVID HART, Executive Vice President for the Florida Chamber of Commerce. “Innovation leads to economic development and competition, and statewide access to ridesharing increases transportation options in our communities and transforms the way they move and do business.”
Gov. Scott Requests $100 Million for VISIT FLORIDA
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (April 18, 2017) – Today, after meeting with tourism leaders from across the state, Governor Rick Scott urged the Florida Legislature to fully fund VISIT FLORIDA at $100 million.
WATCH: Remarks by Governor Scott
WATCH: Remarks by Mark Wilson, President and CEO of Florida Chamber of Commerce
WATCH: Remarks by Russell Daws, President and CEO of Tallahassee Museum
It’s Time to Ask Tough Questions and Show Your Support
Are you concerned about the future of economic development and funding for marketing tourism in Florida? Florida Governor Rick Scott visited South Florida on February 13 to discuss these issues. In case you missed it, last week, at least one lawmaker from South Florida voted to support legislation that would eliminate Enterprise Florida, VISIT FLORIDA, Florida’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and many other programs that help diversify our state’s economy and create jobs.
Email your lawmaker to share your concern with last week’s vote, or call them using the below information:
- Rep. Dane Eagle (R-Cape Coral)
Send an email
- Rep. Julio Gonzalez (R-Venice),
Send an email
- Rep. Alex Miller (R-Sarasota)
Send an email
Take Action Now
Email your lawmaker and share your concern with them about last week’s vote against economic development efforts and funding for marketing tourism in Florida.
Florida Chamber Supports $618 Million Tax Cut Package
The Florida Chamber of Commerce supports Governor Rick Scott’s proposed $618 million tax cut package, which includes a decrease for the Florida-only Business Rent Tax. Florida is currently the only state in the nation that charges a Business Rent Tax. That means in Florida, businesses pay a six percent tax on the space they lease, including added costs to that lease, such as property taxes, maintenance and the cost of insurance. The Florida-only Business Rent Tax significantly affects small businesses, which create 2-out-of-3 new Florida jobs.
Florida’s Business Rent Tax costs Florida businesses $1.8 billion every single year.
“Every step we take to make Florida more business-friendly means more job creators choosing to move to and reinvest in our state,” said DAVID HART, Executive Vice President, of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. “Governor Scott’s recommended $618 million tax cut package will help businesses large and small invest more in creating jobs for our families and will help ensure Florida’s economy will continue to grow well into the future. At the Florida Chamber of Commerce, we are fighting to make our state the best place for job creators and families to succeed,” Hart concluded.
Governor Scott’s proposal would reduce the tax by 25 percent in 2018 and also includes cutting Florida’s corporate income tax and once again initiating multiple sales tax holidays.
2016 Future of Florida Forum: Governor Rick Scott
The Last Thing We Need Are More Trial Lawyers
Gov. Scott Activates Emergency Bridge Loan Program for Small Businesses Damaged by Hurricane Hermine
In case you missed it the following news Release was distributed from the office of Governor Rick Scott.
Today, Governor Rick Scott activated Florida’s Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program to support local small businesses impacted by Hurricane Hermine. The bridge loan program, managed by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), will provide short-term, interest-free loans to small businesses that experienced physical or economic damage during the storm and recovery efforts. The application period is from today through October 31, 2016.
GOVERNOR SCOTT said, “I have toured areas across the Gulf Coast and Big Bend and spoken firsthand with families and businesses owners who are ready to get back to work. Restoring Florida’s small businesses is crucial to helping our communities recover from Hurricane Hermine and the Bridge Loan Program will help provide much-needed emergency assistance. We will continue to use every available state resource to help Floridians impacted by this storm throughout the entire recovery process.”
DEO is currently surveying businesses in the affected counties. To access the business survey, please go to http://flvbeoc.org/index.php?action=bda and select “Hurricane Hermine” from the drop-down menu.
DEO administers the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program to provide an expedient cash flow to businesses damaged by a disaster. The short-term, interest-free loans help bridge the gap between the time damage is incurred and when a business secures other financial resources, including payment of insurance claims or longer-term loans. Up to $10 million from the General Revenue Fund has been allocated for the program.
DEO Executive Director Cissy Proctor said, “Small businesses across the state have been impacted by Hurricane Hermine. We know that small businesses are the backbone of Florida’s economy, and DEO is working to ensure they have the tools they need to get up and running as quickly as possible.”
Owners of small businesses with two to 100 employees located in 51 counties affected by Hurricane Hermine can apply for short-term loans for up to $25,000. Loans are granted in terms of 90 or 180 days and are interest-free for that time period. To be eligible, a business must have been established prior to August 31, 2016, and demonstrate economic or physical damage as a result of Hurricane Hermine.
To complete an application by the Oct. 31 deadline, or for more information on the program, visit www.floridadisasterloan.org. For questions regarding the Emergency Bridge Loan Program, contact the Florida Small Business Development Center Network state office at 850-898-3489.
2016 Military, Defense & Veterans Opportunities Summit Photos
Governor Rick Scott Awards Medals of Honor to Veterans
To download your photo with Governor Rick Scott, please click on the thumbnail photo. A new window will open up allowing you to right click and save the high-resolution photo for printing.