Florida Small Business Owners Optimistic About the Future

45% Expect to Hire in Next Six Months; 76% Expect Increased Sales

TALLAHASSEE, FL. (June 24 , 2015) – With Florida’s economic recovery continuing to outpace the nation, small businesses continue to lead the way. According to the Florida Chamber’s Small Business Index Survey, released today at the 2015 Annual Florida SBDC Network Conference in Miami, small businesses are reporting higher company sales, improved economic outlook, and an increased willingness to hire new employees.

“Small businesses create two out of three new jobs in Florida and play a leading role in our state’s economy. The Florida Chamber’s Small Business Index helps track trends and issues impacting small businesses, and I’m pleased to report that the health of Florida’s small businesses is growing stronger,” Mark Wilson, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce said during the Florida SBDC Network Annual Meeting in Miami.

The survey, conducted in conjunction with the Florida SBDC Network, shows 55 percent of small businesses reporting higher company sales compared to last quarter.

The Florida Chamber’s Small Business Index Survey shows:

  • Top Issues Facing Small Businesses:

    Economic uncertainty (24 percent), workforce quality (15 percent), government regulations (12 percent), access to capital (10 percent) and growth management processes (10 percent) are the issues facing Florida small businesses. Notably, access to capital has dropped from tying as the single biggest issue from more than a year ago, to the fourth overall issue during the latest survey.

  • Sales Increased:

    62 percent of businesses surveyed reported higher company sales compared to the same time period last year, with only 14 percent of businesses reporting lower sales.

  • Optimism Increased:

    78 percent of respondents expect the economy to improve in the next 12 months, with 18 percent expecting the economy to “improve significantly,” more than double the amount from the Florida Chamber Q2 2014 survey. Additionally, 57 percent of businesses responded that their business is better off than six months ago.

“Small business optimism is on the rise, yet Florida’s small businesses continue to face a number of challenges, including access to capital and business resources,” said Michael Myhre, CEO and State Director of the Florida SBDC Network. “The Florida SBDC is committed to providing our state’s small businesses with the tools and resources needed to grow and succeed and create wealth for Florida’s economy.”

 

The Florida Chamber’s Small Business Index Survey was conducted electronically May 4 through May 22, 2015.

 

 

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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.

2 out of 3 Jobs in Florida Come from Small Business

What do Publix Supermarkets, AutoNation and Darden Restaurants have in common? They’re all Fortune 500 companies that started as Florida small businesses.

As we celebrate National Small Business Week, we cannot deny the impact that small businesses have to Florida’s economy. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 99 percent of Florida companies are small businesses. Since the end of the recession, small businesses are responsible for the majority of job growth and are the state’s largest participants in international trade, producing 65 percent of Florida-origin exports. Yet small businesses are often hindered by lack of capital financing, rising healthcare costs and workforce challenges.

“Small businesses are the foundation of our communities,” said Michael Myhre, CEO and State Director of the Florida SBDC Network. “Small businesses help create new markets, transform communities, and stimulate economic growth. National Small Business Week is a great opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate their impact and the valuable employment opportunities that they provide for Floridians.”

But to continue leading as a small business state, Florida must continue to support funding, training and development for Florida’s small businesses. To help in this arena, the Florida Chamber’s Small Business Council works directly with state and national leaders to pass important small business legislation such as the elimination of the manufacturing sales tax in Florida and reducing sales tax on business rentals.

Additional resources for small businesses include access to consulting and training and export counseling services through the Florida SBDC Network; grant funding from the Small Business Administration (SBA); capital programs administered by Enterprise Florida, Inc. (EFI) and workforce assistance through CareerSource Florida.

Share Your Story:

What does your business need to succeed? Email jparrish@flfoundation.org and share your story. If you would like to provide feedback in the Florida Chamber’s Small Business Index Survey, click here.

Get Involved:

If you would like to be part of the Florida Chamber Small Business Council’s unified voice in the mission to secure Florida’s future, sign up today.

About the Florida Scorecard:

The Florida Scorecard, located at www.TheFloridaScorecard.com, presents metrics across Florida’s economy. Each month, the Florida Chamber Foundation produces a Scorecard Stat that takes an in-depth look at one aspect of Florida’s economy. If you would like additional information on the Weekly Scorecard Stat or on the Florida Scorecard, please contact Dr. Jerry Parrish with the Florida Chamber Foundation at 850.521.1283.

Manufacturing Creates Jobs in Florida

For every 10 jobs created in Florida’s export-oriented manufacturing, 12 more jobs are created in transportation, warehousing and retail? With an additional eight jobs created in business services, there are a total number of 30 jobs supported by Florida export manufacturing. In fact, manufacturing has the highest jobs “multiplier” of any sector because it leads to the creation of more indirect and induced jobs in other sectors in the economy.

Simply put, expanding manufacturing in Florida diversifies the economy and provides high-wage jobs. In 2013, the Florida Legislature passed a three-year exemption from sales and use taxes on industrial machinery and equipment used in manufacturing in Florida. This exemption is expected to increase capital investment in Florida by manufacturers, improve productivity, and help Florida’s manufacturers compete better in world markets.

Florida needs manufacturing. Consider the facts:

  • Florida is the 12th-highest state in number of people employed in manufacturing.
  • Florida has 330,544 manufacturing employees, with an average annual wage of more than $54,000.
  • Floridians receive $17.9 billion in manufacturing wages in Florida.
  • There are 19,206 manufacturers in Florida – an increase of 696 over the last year.
  • Manufactured Goods Exports in 2013 equal $56.4 billion.
  • Manufacturing’s Share of Florida’s Exports in 2013 was 93.3 percent.

Besides diversifying the economy, manufacturing firms perform around 70 percent of U.S. Industry Research and Development, even though manufacturing accounts for only about 11 percent of the U.S. economy.

“The impact Florida’s manufacturing industry has on our state’s small businesses is undeniable,” said Michael Myhre, Network State Director for Florida’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network. “Manufacturing helps diversify Florida’s economy and helps create high-wage jobs for Floridians. When Florida remains competitive, small businesses succeed.”

Beginning today, the Manufacturers Association of Florida is hosting their annual Manufacturing Days event in Tallahassee this week. Manufacturing Days will feature speakers on topics important to manufacturers including water policy, the sales tax exemption for manufacturing machinery and equipment, tax issues, and the Florida Chamber’s Legislative Priorities.

Share Your Manufacturing Story:

Is your community diversifying its economy by adding manufacturing companies and manufacturing jobs?  How are your local and regional educational institutions helping prepare your workforce for the manufacturing jobs of the future?  Tell us by contacting us at jparrish@flfoundation.org.

About the Florida Scorecard Did You Know:

The Florida Scorecard, located at www.TheFloridaScorecard.com, presents metrics across Florida’s economy. Each month, the Florida Chamber Foundation produces a Scorecard Stat that takes an in-depth look at one aspect of Florida’s economy. If you would like additional information on the Weekly Scorecard Stat or on the Florida Scorecard, please contact Dr. Jerry Parrish with the Florida Chamber Foundation at 850.521.1283 or jparrish@flfoundation.org. You can also follow the Florida Chamber Foundation on Twitter at @FLChamberFDN.