Workforce Quality and Government Regulations Top Concerns in Florida Chamber Small Business Survey

2018 Elections Key to Ensuring Florida Small and Local Businesses Can Continue Creating 1 Out of Every 11 New American Jobs



TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (October 22, 2018) — As Florida job creators prepare to cast their vote for Florida’s next Governor, they are no doubt looking at which candidate will help strengthen Florida’s workforce and tackle government regulations – top concerns of business leaders on the Florida Chamber of Commerce’s Fourth Quarter Small Business Index Survey.

For the eighth quarter in a row, employers say finding additional skilled employees to meet open job demands is their number one concern. And small and local businesses are increasingly concerned about government regulations.


“With Florida small and local businesses creating one out of every 11 new American jobs, the Small Business Index Survey shows that job creators will be looking for a Governor that further eliminates outdated regulations and further strengthens Florida’s workforce to ensure the available 245,300 jobs in Florida can be filled with quality employees,” said Marian Johnson, Senior Vice President, Political Operation.


On the upside, 59 percent of small businesses indicated confidence in the direction that Florida is taking to make the Sunshine State a better place for businesses—up from the third quarter.

As Johnson explained, looking at the gubernatorial candidates proposed plans shows their differences, and provides a clear view of the candidates’ positions on small and local businesses.

“Preparing for the future means continuing to ensure that Florida’s economy is ready and able to create prosperity through high-paying jobs, remain globally competitive, and develop vibrant and sustainable communities,” said Dr. Jerry Parrish, Chief Economist and Director of Research for the Florida Chamber Foundation.  “As we look toward 2030, we must continue to ensure businesses have access to the qualified workforce they need to continue to create jobs, and that all Floridians can pave a path toward economic prosperity.  This quarter’s Small Business Index Survey indicates that Florida’s small businesses remain increasingly concerned about workforce quality- a concern that has been consistently ranked number one for the past eight quarters. “


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

  • Workforce quality (26 percent),
  • Government regulations (9 percent),
  • Access to Capital (8 percent),
  • Economic uncertainty (8 percent)
  • Lawsuit abuse (6 percent),
  • Taxes (6 percent),
  • Healthcare costs (6 percent),


Of Florida small businesses, 48 percent of respondents expect to hire in the next six months, up from 45 percent last quarter. And 43 percent expect to make investments in plants or equipment, down from 49 percent one year ago.


“For the eighth quarter in a row, workforce quality continues to be the top concern of Florida’s small businesses, with government regulations ranking second,” said Glenda Hood, Chair of the Florida Chamber’s Small Business Council, and Founding Partner, triSect. “Florida’s economy is dependent on the small business community, and the Florida Chamber’s Small Business Council remains committed to advocating on their behalf.”


About the Survey:


The Florida Chamber’s Small Business Index Survey was conducted electronically September 6, 2018 through October 11, 2018. Thirty-nine percent of respondents employ less than five employees, while 43 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 critical to secure Florida’s future. The Florida Chamber works closely with its Florida Political Operations and the Florida Chamber Foundation. Visit for more information.


Did You Know the First 110 Days of Your Paycheck Goes Towards Paying Taxes?

It’s Tax Day today and many Floridians are filing their 2015 tax returns and reflecting on their tax burdens for the year. Interestingly, this Wednesday, April 20 is Tax Freedom Day in Florida, which means Floridians have earned enough money to pay their total business and personal tax bills for the year and can now use their money towards investing in their businesses and providing for their families.

According to the Tax Foundation’s recent report, Florida is the 29th state to celebrate Tax Freedom Day, meaning 28 states have met their tax burdens at an earlier date. What would happen if Florida was in the top 10, instead of more than halfway down the list?  Would that allow your business to reinvest in growth and put more money back in your pocket?

Get Involved

To hear Dennis Lockhart, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, and other business leaders discuss the issues affecting Florida’s business climate, register to attend the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Future of Florida Forum on September 28-30, in Orlando.

Florida Chamber’s Targeted Tax Reforms Will Lower Cost of Living and Cost of Doing Business

As Florida lawmakers prepare for the June 1-20 special legislative session to pass a balanced budget, the Florida Chamber of Commerce is encouraging legislators to also lower the cost of living and the cost of doing business through targeted tax reforms.

“Special session has a lot on the table, including the creation of a state budget and the chance for meaningful healthcare reform,” said David Hart, Executive Vice President of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. “The Florida Chamber is optimistic that the Florida Legislature can work through these items and still pass targeted tax reforms that will put money back in the pockets of Floridians and make Florida even more competitive.”

Driving a fair and equitable tax system is key to attracting and retaining businesses in Florida. Limiting burdensome taxes by enacting smart and targeted tax reforms helps place money back into the pockets of Florida’s families.

For a more competitive Florida, the Florida Chamber supports the following targeted tax reforms:

  • Communications Service Tax (CST) cut,
  • Reducing sales taxes on commercial leases,
  • Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday,
  • Small Business Saturday Tax Holiday,
  • Research and Development tax cuts,
  • Defense contracting tax credit.

    “The Florida legislature has the important responsibility of crafting the state budget during the special session, but also has a great opportunity to reduce taxes for Florida’s families and businesses,” said Dennis Grady, President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches. “This opportunity can not only put additional money in the pockets of hard working families, but could mean the difference in job creation and business expansion. Our Florida economy is at its best when the legislature returns tax payer dollars to those who could use it the most.”

Florida Chamber members and partners look forward to working with lawmakers during the special session to help ensure targeted tax reforms can further help attract and retain jobs.

Take Action Now

How will targeted tax reforms help your business grow? Share your story by emailing me at

Today’s Vehicle Fee Rollback Saves Floridians Millions

Starting today, Floridians will save millions on vehicle fees with lower rates.

The move, part of Governor Scott’s $500 Million “It’s Your Money” Tax Tour from earlier this year, eliminates a 2009 increase in motorist fees that were approved when Charlie Crist was Governor.

“Without a tax or fee increase since Charlie Crist left office, Florida has added more than 620,300 private-sector jobs, returned to our AAA bond rating, reduced the state’s debt and increased the reserves to over $3.1 billion,” said Mark Wilson, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber. “Thanks to Governor Scott and the Florida Legislature, Florida’s job creators can teach America an important lesson in economics and free enterprise.”

Florida’s 18 million registered vehicles, which include vehicles operated by businesses, will see a savings. This includes:

  • 13 million cars and trucks – many of which are used by small businesses, and
  • 2.6 million fleet vehicles.

Most motorists will receive a $25 fee reduction.

The Florida Chamber believes in a simple, fair and globally competitive tax structure. Further, we believe that Florida can and should do better by establishing a smarter tax structure that will help put money back into the hands of taxpayers.


Continue the Conversation:

Join our discussions on how we can help make Florida’s economy more competitive and diverse by joining us in Orlando September 29-October 1 at the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Future of Florida Forum and Annual Meeting. Click here to learn more.