Florida Chamber Tallahassee Region Chair John Medina Says Now is the Time to Stop the Business Rent Tax


“Not only is Florida the only state that requires this…tax, as we try to become competitive both domestically and globally, we need to be removing these types of competitive hurdles,” said  JOHN MEDINA, Florida Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors Tallahassee Regional Chair. “This is a tax on small businesses, and this is a great way for us to reduce or repeal a tax that could result in fostering economic activity, particularly for small businesses that could take that money and reinvest it into their own companies and act as an impetus for additional growth.”

In this edition of the Florida Chamber’s series of interview with business leaders, John Medina, Tallahassee Regional Chair of the Florida Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, discuss how the Florida-only business rent tax hinders businesses and makes our state less competitive. Gates, the Senior Vice President and Chief Experience Officer at First Commerce Credit Union, applauds lawmakers in the Florida House and Senate that have taken steps to scale back the business rent tax, which costs Florida businesses $1.7 billion each and every year.


Take Action Now:

Join the Florida Chamber’s efforts to cut the business rent tax by signing the CutMyBizRent.Tax petition. Contact Greg Blose to learn how you can get involved.

John Medina Discusses Small Business, a Global Economy and More

“Free enterprise is not like playing a board game with a six year old,
where it seems like the rules change after every turn.”



Vice President of Business, Insurance, and Investment Services, First Commerce Credit Union
Florida Chamber Tallahassee Regional Board Chair


According to Chief Executive Magazine’s recently released 2016 Best & Worst States For Business, Florida ranks second best in business climate, right behind Texas.

On the Florida Chamber’s recent Series on Free Enterprise, John Medina, Vice President of Business, Insurance, and Investment Services, First Commerce Credit Union and Florida Chamber Tallahassee Regional Board Chair comments on the recent ranking.

“That is not a surprise at all,” said Medina. “And it’s because of obviously, the high standards and high quality of living that we have in the state but it also has to do with the business environment that we have. Now, while it’s good that we are number two in the nation, we are really a global economy. Florida is a global economy that needs to be competitive in a much larger marketplace. It’s because of organizations like the Florida Chamber that constantly advocate for a competitive business climate that we are able to create jobs and help provide opportunities for businesses to be successful in this state. Florida is very well positioned to be a highly competitive state, both nationally and globally.”

Florida’s business climate is home to many small businesses. In fact, two out of every three jobs in Florida are created by small businesses. Issues like resources and overall workforce development continue to remain on the forefront of the Florida Chamber’s mission to help Florida continue in the right direction.

Small businesses have a challenge understanding what the resources are in their community that can help them,” said Medina. “The other opportunity I think, is in the workforce development. I don’t know that a lot of folks realize that again, between FAMU, FSU, TCC, Flagler, Keiser, Lively, Pat Thomas, we have a plethora of educational resources located right here in our back yard. In particular I’m excited about the trade and certifications that we provide for employees for the labor markets in this community. A college education is great, and I encourage everyone to consider it, but the bottom line is we need folks that have trade skills and certification, that can do most of the things that small business requires us to do.”

 From incubators to programs at the many higher education institutes in Tallahassee, “this is a great location and a great region to be actively engaged in small business and entrepreneurship.”

 For Medina, free enterprise is a lot of things but must, above all, be consistent in order for our economy to thrive.

“Free enterprise is not like playing a board game with a six year old, where it seems like the rules change after every turn- basically at the end of the day the six year old is going to win every single time,” said Medina. “I think our small businesses are looking for a dynamic marketplace that is competitive, that has capitalism… but I think they are looking for a marketplace that has a modicum of predictability. Regulations, waivers, taxes- it’s extremely difficult for a small business owner to compete in this kind of marketplace without knowing what the rules of the game are and without having some level of predictability that those rules are going to remain in place or improve.”



If you are a small business in need of resources or workforce, please click below:

John Hartnett Discusses International Trade and Small Business Success

“Success does not come overnight with international trade. The challenges lie in understanding the cultural differences and maintaining realistic expectations of growth trends.”



Vice President of Global Business Development, Endoscopy Replacement Parts, Inc.
Florida Chamber Foundation Trustee


Endoscopy Replacement Parts, Inc. was recently named the Small Business Administration’s 2016 National Exporter of the Year Award and received the President’s “E” Award for U.S. Exporters.

On the Florida Chamber’s recent Series on Free Enterprise, John Hartnett, Vice President of Global Business Development at Endoscopy Replacement Parts, Inc. discusses the recent awards and what Florida businesses can do to become globally competitive.

“International trade is not easy, but it’s not overly complex either,” said Hartnett. “95 percent of consumers are overseas so there is a huge opportunity to grow business. The most important part of considering international expansion is to consider if the product is already doing well domestically, is management fully on board and willing to be patient with the international markets and are finances available to fund the expansion….Florida is privileged to have the resources of Enterprise Florida, Florida SBDC Network and U.S. Commercial Services.”

Florida’s manufacturing sector is a key driver in international trade, with the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Trade & Logistics 2.0 report showing 92 percent of Florida-origin exports are manufactured goods. Additionally, for every 10 jobs created in trade, there are 30 jobs supported by Florida export manufacturing and another 20 jobs supported in business services, transportation, etc.

“Opportunities for growth internationally in the manufacturing sector are astounding. This growth creates many high-wage, high-skilled jobs for Floridians and diversifies your client base throughout the world, making companies much more recession-proof….We have plentiful products, services, technology, brain power and agriculture that the world would want and need and we should be considering ourselves a global hub with unlimited growth potential.”

As a Florida Chamber Foundation Trustee, Hartnett is part of an elite group of thought leaders dedicated to finding solutions and challenges facing Florida’s future. When asked about the trends and disruptions that might occur by the year 2030, Hartnett provided the following response.

“Florida is expected to grow by over 6 million residents in the next 15 years and we must create approximately 2.1 million new jobs in that time frame to maintain the current levels of employment. Florida has never experienced a growth at this pace and it could have major implications on how we utilize our taxes, the poverty level and overall usage of our resources. However, we have an opportunity to absorb this momentous growth by focusing on smart job creation initiatives, such as targeting the sectors of international trade and logistics and creating ancillary job growth from increased global demand.”

For Hartnett, free enterprise means naturally allowing the market to determine the economic, financial and environmental concerns and structures without the rigidity of government forces.

“An organization with good management, adaptability, innovation and quality products and services allows for success in an ultra-competitive market. By having lower corporate taxes and less government involvement, Florida businesses have the resilience and fortitude to go out in the global marketplace and create incredible jobs for Floridians.”



If you are a small business looking to expand into global markets or improve your workforce, please click below:

Florida Chamber Names First Commerce Credit Union Executive Regional Board Chair

CONTACT: Edie Ousley, 850-521-1231 or 850-251-6261


John Medina Appointed for
2014-2015 Term in Southwest Florida

TALLAHASSEE, FL. (June 4 , 2015) – The Florida Chamber today announced John Medina, President, Investments and Insurance of First Commerce Credit Union, has been appointed to a 1-year term as the Florida Chamber’s Tallahassee Regional Board Chair.

“Being the Florida Chamber’s Tallahassee Regional Board Chair is an exciting opportunity to bring together small and large businesses over the Florida Chamber’s pro-business initiatives,” said John Medina, President, Investments and Insurance of First Commerce Credit Union. “Tallahassee is the center of all legislative decisions that keep Florida moving in the right direction and First Commerce Credit Union is proud to support the Florida Chamber in their efforts to keep moving Florida forward.”

Medina was appointed by Steve Knopik, President and CEO of Bealls, Inc. and Chair of the Florida Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, and will work directly to rally Tallahassee business leaders with Florida legislative leaders to create the most competitive business environment.

“John Medina is a prime example of how small businesses are the source of 2 out of 3 jobs in Florida, and why fighting for free enterprise is so important,” said Mark Wilson, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber. “In his role as a Florida Chamber Regional Board Chair, John will champion the Florida Chamber’s mission to secure Florida’s future.”

Medina is one of twelve regional chairs that are a part of the Florida Chamber’s Regional Board Chair Program.


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.