Florida Chamber Foundation survey reveals why some firms relocate to and from Florida

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The Florida Chamber Foundation, the research and solutions arm of the Florida Chamber of Commerce, released a first-of-its-kind survey on why companies move into and out of Florida. Results of this initial baseline study will help inform decisions related to economic development in Florida, with the goal of improving the business climate of our state.

In Florida, there is a long term vision to achieve prosperity, global competitiveness and vibrant communities for Floridians and businesses to thrive. As firms become increasingly mobile and exercise the prerogative to relocate based upon local conditions, the ability to attract, retain and expand private sector activity is a key objective of Florida’s economic development initiatives.  In order to better understand what drives decisions to relocate, the Florida Chamber Foundation surveyed nineteen firms that recently relocated either to or from Florida based upon the Six Pillars of Florida’s Future Economy.

“In an economic environment where approximately794,000 of our fellow Floridians are unemployed, it is imperative to understand what is driving firms to either enter or leave the state,” said Dr. Carrie Blanchard, Director of Research and Policy for the Florida Chamber Foundation.

This first wave of results comes from 19 unique business organizations that either relocated to or from Florida between January 2011 to June 2011. When asked directly what the main determinate in choosing to relocate was, firms’ responses fell in three categories: access to a well trained/educated workforce, a positive tax climate or business incentives and geographic location.

Key findings include:

  • ·         77.3% of the firms surveyed said they are “somewhat satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the ability to recruit an appropriately skilled workforce.
  • ·         80% of responding firms reported being “not satisfied” with respect to the ease of participating in the patent process.
  • ·         90% of firms answered that they are “somewhat satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the quality of infrastructure in Florida.
  • ·         While most respondents were generally satisfied with the business climate in Florida, payroll taxes and healthcare costs were most frequently cited as being “somewhat of a burden” by firms.
  • ·         73% of respondents reported they had not participated in regional partnerships or economic development organizations.
  • ·         The vast majority of survey respondents signaled their satisfaction with the quality of life in Florida with weather and natural scenery at the top of the list.

To view the full survey summary please visit here.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.