The Florida Chamber Kicks Off World Trade Month

Every year, May is recognized as World Trade Month, and many people across the nation take this time to recognize the importance of international trade as a major contributor to job creation through events and awareness campaigns. Here at the Florida Chamber, every month is World Trade Month. We recognize that if we want to continue to create high-wage jobs, we need to support the Florida companies and farmers that make and grow more products for exports, we need to move more imports and exports through Florida’s seaports and airports, and we need to multiply the impacts of trade to provide more opportunities and access to global markets.

I recently returned from a successful trade mission to Argentina led by Governor Rick Scott. Argentina has always been a strong trade partner for Florida, and its economy, under a new presidential administration, has undergone significant positive reforms which are not only transforming the country’s economic landscape but are also presenting new and exciting opportunities for Florida exporters.

Read a letter from Gov. Scott to President Trump highlighting the success of the mission.

A crucial component of Florida’s growth is tied to our strength as a global hub for trade. Florida is not only at the crossroads of hemispheric trade – which geographically positions us to capture north/south trade flows – it is also home to more than 60,000 exporters ( second only to California) and state-of-the-art investments in trade infrastructure. If there was a ever a state was Made for Trade, it’s Florida.

Ensuring that we grow and expand opportunities for Floridians is central to the fight for Florida’s future. The Florida Chamber stands ready to help Florida companies expand trade opportunities and support efforts to attract foreign direct investment, as well as continuing to advance a competitiveness agenda that fosters pro-growth policies such as international trade initiatives.

Get Involved

For more information on joining the Florida Chamber’s international efforts or becoming a member of the Florida Chamber, please contact Alice Ancona. While you’re at it, don’t forget to register for the Florida Chamber’s Florida International Trade and Investment Conference, scheduled for Aug. 9 in Orlando.

Florida Chamber-Backed Manufacturing Bill Passes Committee

The Florida Chamber of Commerce applauds the Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee today for passing a Florida Chamber-backed manufacturing bill by a 6-1 vote.

SB 98, sponsored by Senator Dorothy Hukill (R-Port Orange) will ensure a permanent reduction of the state’s Sales Tax on Manufacturing Machinery and Equipment and allow companies to more easily invest in additional equipment.

In 2013, the Florida Chamber, thanks to efforts by Governor Scott and the Florida Legislature, led the charge with the Manufacturers Association of Florida to help create a program that would reduce the Sales Tax on Manufacturing Machinery and Equipment for three years. But Florida’s manufacturers need a more permanent solution. In order to provide Florida manufacturers with predictability and certainty and help continue growing Florida’s manufacturing industry, the Florida Chamber will continue to support permanently eliminating the Sales Tax on Manufacturing Machinery and Equipment.

Learn More:

Did you know manufacturing contributes more than $40 billion to Florida’s economy? Learn how you can get involved in the Florida Chamber’s efforts by contacting us today at cjohnson@flchamber.com.

Florida Chamber-Backed Freight Logistics Bill Passes

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Edie Ousley, 850-521-1231 or 850-251-6261
eousley@flchamber.com

Rep. Ray’s Bill Will Help Make
Florida the Hub for Global Trade

TALLAHASSEE, FL. (April 24, 2015) – Today, a Florida Chamber-backed bill to invest in Florida’s transportation and logistics infrastructure and make Florida more globally competitive is on the way to Governor Scott’s office.

The bill, HB 257 sponsored by Representative Lake Ray (R-Jacksonville), encourages investments in Freight Logistics Zones (areas surrounding and operating with intermodal logistics centers)– attracting new high-wage jobs, growing Florida’s high-skill talent pool and helping to meet Florida’s long-term needs.

“According to research by the Florida Chamber Foundation, investing in Freight Logistics Zones is one of seven key strategies to make Florida more globally competitive,” said David Hart, Executive Vice President of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. “Freight Logistics Zones encourage regional partnerships and help advance economic development, workforce, and transportation and land use decisions that maximize global opportunities throughout our state. We are proud of legislative champions like Representative Lake Ray for helping to make Florida the hub for global trade.”

We commend Representative Lake Ray and Senator Wilton Simpson for their hard work on this issue. The bill now heads to Governor Scott’s office for his signature.

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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.

Florida Chamber Honors Florida-Based Bealls, Inc. Retailer for 100 Years

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Edie Ousley, 850-521-1231 or 850-251-6261
eousley@flchamber.com

Centennial Anniversary of
Family-Owned, Bradenton Business

TALLAHASSEE, FL. (April 14, 2015) – The Florida Chamber of Commerce today joined Florida Governor Scott and members of the Florida Cabinet in recognizing Florida-based retailer Bealls, Inc. on its 100-year anniversary. The company was honored with a proclamation for their centennial anniversary during today’s Cabinet meeting.

“The department store chain, which started in Bradenton and now has more than 530 stores throughout the state, is the very embodiment of what free enterprise is all about – the ability to grow and expand private-sector business and create more jobs for Floridians,” said Mark Wilson, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber.

Bealls’ unique brand truly represents the Florida lifestyle, yet its traditions are still deeply rooted in the Beall family that founded the company. Their motto “always do what is right” resonates throughout their company culture and their focus on Florida’s future.

“This is a great honor for Bealls,” Bob Beall said when receiving the Cabinet Proclamation. “We’re hoping to go for another 100 years.”

The company has been a member of the Florida Chamber of Commerce since 1970 with Robert Beall, II (Bob) serving as Chairman of the Board in 2005. Bob’s leadership and investment in Florida’s economy are a true testament to the principles established by his grandfather and founder of Bealls, Robert M. Beall, and his father, E.R. Beall.

The Bealls legacy continues still today with the dedication and philanthropy exemplified by current Florida Chamber of Commerce Chairman of the Board, Steve Knopik.

“The Florida Chamber is proud to recognize Bealls as a vital part of Florida’s past and look forward to working together to secure Florida’s future,” Wilson added.

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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.

Florida Employers Will See Unemployment Comp Rates Decline

GOOD NEWS…Most employers can expect to see a $30.40 drop per employee in unemployment compensation rates retroactively effective January 1, 2015.  This is a reduction of 64 percent and marks the second year in a row that the state unemployment compensation rates have decreased.

The Florida Chamber of Commerce today learned that the state Department of Revenue will notify employers this month on the new reemployment tax rates for the coming year. While every employer is subject to its own experience-based rate, employers at the minimum rate will see a change from $47.20 per employee last year to $16.80 per employee. That’s a $30.40 decrease per employee for 2015. This decrease in rates further shows that Florida’s unemployment compensation trust fund is healthy, and confirms that Florida is moving in the right direction again through private-sector job creation.

Governor Scott and the Florida Legislature’s focus on private-sector job creation has resulted in more than 715,000 private-sector jobs created since December 2010, putting less of a burden on the overall fund. Florida’s 5.8 percent unemployment rate is down from 11.4 percent in January 2010, and is indicative that Florida families are getting back to work.

 

Get the Facts

Need rate calculation information and fact sheets to understand the factors used to calculate the new rates? Contact Carolyn Johnson at cjohnson@flchamber.com for details, and to learn how the Florida Chamber of Commerce can help your business become more competitive.