Small Business Concerns to be Released at Economic Outlook & Jobs Summit

Did you know that Florida’s 2.5 million small businesses make up 99.8 percent of Florida businesses and employ 3.3 million Floridians?

Each quarter, the Florida Chamber’s Small Business Council surveys small business leaders across the state on their top concerns. Topping the list for the 4th quarter in a row? Having access to a talented workforce.

How are hiring professionals confronting the challenge to get the right workforce in their organizations? What are the workforce and job trends for 2019 and how will they impact your business?

Join the Florida Chamber Foundation, along with CFOs from Florida’s leading businesses, on January 14, 2019 in Orlando for the Florida Chamber Foundation’s 2019 Economic Outlook Summit where we will release the latest findings form the Florida Chamber’s quarterly Small Business Index Survey and:

  • Learn about jobs trends and analysis from the Chamber Foundation’s Council of Business Economists,
  • Receive job projections for 2019,
  • Engage in conversations about Florida’s leading and emerging industries,
  • Aand more!

Don’t hesitate to learn what your company needs to succeed in 2019.
Register today and forward this to your CFO, hiring managers and others who need to be part of the conversation!
Florida Chamber Foundation 2019 Economic Outlook Summit
January 14, 2019
GuideWell Innovation Center at Lake Nona Medical City
6555 Sanger Rd, Orlando, FL 32827

Florida Small Business Owners Concerned About Workforce Quality 

 

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (January 22, 2018) – Ask a Florida small business owner what keeps them up at night and they’ll likely point to the latest Florida Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index Survey, which shows workforce quality and government regulations as the top concerns of Florida’s job creators for the second straight quarter.

“Businesses are telling us, loud and clear, that in order to grow, they need access to a talented workforce,” said Dr. Jerry Parrish, Chief Economist and Director of Research for the Florida Chamber Foundation. “The Florida Chamber Foundation’s recent Florida Jobs 2030 report confirms this research by showing that the future of work is changing, and as this quarter’s Small Business Index once again shows workforce quality is top of mind for Florida’s businesses. Another trend we are seeing is businesses remain concerned about the impact government regulations have on their ability to grow. At the same time, we are seeing business confidence remain high. This signals a confidence in Florida’s economy, one that is echoed in the Florida Chamber Foundation’s newly released Florida Leading Index, which indicates job creation is expected to be substantially higher than the U.S. average.”

 

The Florida Chamber’s quarterly Small Business Index statewide survey shows small businesses are most concerned about:

  • Workforce quality (27 percent),
  • Government regulations (13 percent),
  • Healthcare costs (11 percent),
  • Lawsuit abuse (9 percent),
  • Access to capital (8 percent).

 

Of Florida small businesses, 52 percent of respondents expect to hire in the next six months – up slightly from 48 percent in our Q4 2017 survey.

“Florida’s small businesses continue to face a number of challenges, including increased concerns about workforce quality and government regulations,” said Glenda Hood, Chair of the Florida Chamber’s Small Business Council, and Founding Partner, triSect. “The Florida Chamber’s Small Business Council looks forward to working together to identify and support solutions that will help and grow Florida’s small business community.”

 

About the Survey:

The Florida Chamber’s Small Business Index Survey was conducted electronically December 13, 2017 through January 12, 2018. 30 percent of respondents employ less than five employees, while 41 percent employ five to 49 employees. Click here to view the full report.

 

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Established in 1916 as Florida’s first statewide business advocacy organization, 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 crucial to secure Florida’s future. The Florida Chamber works closely with its Florida Political Operations and the Florida Chamber Foundation. Visit www.FLChamber.com for more information.

Small Businesses Matter to Florida’s Future

Authored by: John Hartnett, Vice President of Global Business Development, Endoscopy Replacement Parts, Inc.

 

Small businesses matter to Florida’s future, and it’s no surprise why. More than 2 million small businesses call Florida home. They create three out of four new jobs in Florida, all while employing more than 3 million Floridians.  Between now and 2030, Florida will need to create 2 million net new jobs. According to TheFloridaScorecard.org, Alachua County alone will need to create more than 24,000 net new jobs by 2030.

Florida has some real opportunities for growth, particularly in manufacturing. Research found in the Florida Chamber Foundation’s recently released Florida Jobs 2030 Report shows that today, more than 19,500 manufacturing companies call Florida home and employ more than 360,000 Floridians. And did you know, more than 95 percent of all of Florida’s exporters are small businesses?

Florida’s future needs small businesses and it will continue to require growth in industries like manufacturing, but will our state’s workforce be prepared? Our state must be able to train a workforce for the jobs of the future, many of which don’t yet exist.  Between now and 2021, Florida’s manufacturing industry will see a 4 percent growth and must be ready to address the stigmas and perceptions that are keeping young people away from manufacturing.

Endoscopy Replacement Parts, Inc. is a proud recipient of the Small Business Administration’s Exporter of the Year Award as well as the Manufacturer of the Year Award. And as we celebrate National Small Business Week, we recognize that these challenges are actually important opportunities for growth, diversification and success. But to get there, the input of Florida’s businesses— both large and small— are crucial. This is one reason the Florida Chamber Foundation has traveled to 58 counties and engaged more than 7,800 Floridians through Florida 2030 Town Halls to learn how we can secure our state’s future in 2030 and beyond.

As our state continues to grow, addresses challenges and takes advantage of economic opportunities, can your business afford not to share your thoughts on the future of our state? Click here to have your voice heard.

Florida Chamber Foundation Chief Economist Presents April By the Numbers

Small Businesses Issues, Job Creation and More

During the Florida Chamber Foundation’s recent By The Numbers, the Florida Chamber Foundation takes a closer look at job numbers found on TheFloridaScorecard.org.

Florida has created 246,100 non-farm jobs over the last 12 months and our state’s unemployment rate has dropped to 4.8 percent. Yet there are still 483,000 Floridians who are unemployed, out of a labor force of more than 10.1 million, and there are currently 242,600 jobs looking for people. For the first time in recent history, we have created more construction jobs (up by 7.9 percent), than leisure and hospitality. The Florida Chambers Foundation’s Chief Economist also discusses the results of the Florida Chamber’s Small Business Index Survey. Watch the video to get an inside look on small business issues, job creation and more.

Small Business

 

Small Businesses Fuel Florida’s Economy

 

Why It Matters to Florida

Two out of every three jobs are created by small businesses in Florida and 90 percent of Florida’s manufacturers are small to mid-sized businesses. According to the most recent Florida Chamber Small Business Index Survey, Florida’s small businesses are optimistic about the future of the state’s economic recovery, with nearly 60 percent of respondents expecting the economy to improve during the next 12 months and half of all respondents indicating higher sales over the previous year.

Florida’s Competitiveness Agenda

For a more competitive Florida, the Florida Chamber will continue to advocate on behalf of small businesses by:

  • Supporting workforce training programs that allow small business to get the workforce they need to create more goods and jobs.
  • Continuing to support trade efforts for small and mid-sized businesses to trade globally. Ninety-five percent of Florida’s exporters are small- and medium-sized businesses that produce two-thirds of Florida’s total exports.
  • Advocating for diverse and innovative new businesses by supporting programs such as Florida’s Small Business Development Center Network.
  • Championing streamlined regulations so small businesses no longer feel the burden of mandates and red-tape.
  • Supporting healthcare initiatives that help small businesses offer cost-effective and reliable healthcare options to their employees.
  • Fighting against special interest efforts that would move workers comp rates in the wrong direction.
  • Supporting tax initiatives that help lower the cost of doing business.
  • Advocating for greater access to capital options for small businesses.

The Fight for Free Enterprise Continues

Small businesses are important to Florida’s growing economy. Share your voice on these issues with us by joining our Small Business Council. Contact cjohnson@flchamber.com for more information.

Small Businesses Saved from Over Regulation

Last year the Florida Chamber fought back against an emergency rule that would have unnecessarily shifted the burden of pollution notifications to the public, the media and elected officials from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to Florida companies that may not be equipped to handle such requests.

As soon as the rule was public, the Florida Chamber of Commerce led a coalition effort to raise concerns on potential regulatory uncertainty, vague reporting thresholds, and the burdensome media reporting requirement with Florida DEP leadership.

Yesterday, SB 532, filed by Senator Bill Galvano, which would once again ensure the regulated community is not forced to become the regulator when it comes to reporting spills to the public, passed its first committee stop.

The Florida Chamber believes that the core function of the Florida DEP is to use its expertise and judgment to provide appropriate notice and recommendations to the public and we commend the Florida Legislature for making it clear that small businesses should not do the job of the Florida DEP.

The Florida Chamber will continue to closely monitor this issues and provide updates. To learn more, please visit the Florida Chamber’s Water Issue Page.

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.

 

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Federal Overtime Rules Cause for Concern in Florida’s Small Business Community

Outlook Uncertain as Businesses Face Unstable Economy

> DOWNLOAD the Florida Small Business Index Survey Quarter 2 Results

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (June 23, 2016) – The most recent Florida Chamber Foundation Small Business Index Survey shows 22 percent of Florida’s small businesses say government regulations are their top concern, up from 10 percent last quarter. Florida small businesses are particularly concerned with recent changes to Federal overtime regulations.

Economic uncertainty was reported as the second highest concern, with 20 percent of respondents listing it as their top obstacle in hiring new employees. The results also indicate that 27 percent of respondents expect the economy to weaken over the next year, up from 13 percent last quarter. Only 38 percent of respondents reported that their business was better off than six months ago, compared to 46 percent last quarter.

“The overall outlook is less positive than it was in the last quarter, with government regulations appearing as the top issue,” said Dr. Jerry Parrish, Chief Economist and Director of Research, Florida Chamber Foundation. “Florida’s small businesses are still concerned about the economy and workforce quality, but the good news is that many small businesses are still planning to hire new employees and plan to make capital investments in the coming year.”

The Florida Chamber’s Small Business Index Survey shows:

  • Top Issues Facing Small Businesses:
    Government regulations (22 percent)

    • Economic Uncertainty (20 percent),
    • Workforce Quality (18 percent),
    • Taxes (8 percent),
    • Access to Capital (7 percent),
    • Growth Management Process (7 percent),
    • 18 percent listing some other issue as their top concern.
  • Sales:
    47 percent of respondents indicated that sales were up over the past three months, down from 53 percent in last quarter’s survey.
  • Respondents:
    • 35 percent of respondents employ less than five employees,
    • 43 percent of respondents employ 5 to 49 employees,
    • 10 percent employ 50-99 employees and
    • 12 percent of respondents employ from 100-499 employees.

“Small businesses continue to face a number of challenges, including increased government regulations,” said Debra Harvey, Chair, Florida Chamber of Commerce Small Business Council and President, Ron Jon Surf Shop. “As we work together on the Florida Chamber Small Business Council, we look forward to identifying solutions that support our business community and grow this important economic engine.”

The Florida Chamber’s Small Business Index Survey was conducted electronically June 1, 2016 through June 17, 2016. Click here to view the full report.

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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.”

 

–  JOHN MEDINA

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.”

 

Resources:

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.”

 

–  JOHN HARTNETT

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.”

 

Resources:

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

Florida Small Businesses Reporting Higher Company Sales But Still Uncertain About The Economy

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

Florida Small Businesses Reporting Higher Company Sales
But Still Uncertain About The Economy
More than half of Florida business plan to hire new employees this year

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Jan. 13, 2016) – A new Florida Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index Survey shows Florida’s small businesses are reporting higher sales than in previous quarters, with 65 percent of respondents reporting increased company sales compared to the same period last year and 79 percent expecting increasing sales in the coming year. Survey results were released today in conjunction with the Florida Chamber’s Board of Governors Capitol Days.

While sales outlooks have improved significantly, Florida’s small businesses are uncertain about the future. Only half of respondents expect the economy to improve during the next 12 months and 21 percent of respondents cited economic uncertainty as their top issue. This sense of economic uncertainty is also a top concern of Florida voters, who say jobs and the economy is their top concern – according to a separate Florida Chamber Political Institute poll released earlier today. Access to capital was the second most frequently cited challenge facing Florida small business community.

“The results of the Small Business Index Survey show that Florida small businesses are optimistic about their company’s financial health and performance but have growing concerns with Florida’s long-term economic outlook,” said Dr. Jerry Parrish, Chief Economist and Director of Research, Florida Chamber Foundation. “The good news is that Florida’s economy is growing at a faster rate than almost any other state in the nation.”

The Florida Chamber’s Small Business Index Survey shows:

  • Top Issues Facing Small Businesses: Economic uncertainty (21 percent), access to capital (16 percent), government regulations (15 percent), workforce quality (14 percent), and growth management processes (12 percent) are the issues facing Florida small businesses.
  • Hiring Plans: 55 percent of the small businesses surveyed have plans to hire new employees during the next six months, up from 43 percent in last quarter’s survey.
  • Respondents: 47 percent of respondents employ less than five employees, with only 9 percent of respondents employing 100 employees or more.

The Florida Chamber’s Small Business Index Survey was conducted electronically December 18, 2015 through January 11, 2016. Click here to view the full report.

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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.

1 in 4 Small Businesses Cite Access to Capital as a Primary Concern

In the recent Small Business Index Survey conducted by the Florida Chamber of Commerce, small business owners reported being optimistic about growth but increasingly concerned with access to the working capital needed to hire new employees, purchase equipment, and grow their business.

Many small business owners find that business financing is difficult to access. Women and minority small business owners, in particular, are less likely to secure financing through traditional channels and are increasingly turning to alternative sources of funding such as grants, angel investment and crowdfunding.

As we move towards the future, small business will play a vital role in diversifying Florida’s economy and meeting global demand. The question is, will traditional lending sources provide the capital small businesses need for future growth or will alternative funding become the new normal?

Share Your Story:

What innovative financial resources and community investment opportunities are you using to help expand your small business? Share your story by emailing the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Chief Economist Dr. Jerry D. Parrish at jparrish@flfoundation.org.