This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Enterprise Florida. All opinions are 100% mine.
Florida is fast shedding its former image as a place where retirees go to settle down. The Sunshine State is quickly becoming a mecca for entrepreneurs seeking to isolate themselves from the competition that exists in Silicon Valley.
Whether you’re looking to start a Florida Business in the booming tech industry, or seeking the limitless profits offered in running a retail business in a large population, here are 5 compelling reasons to consider doing business in Florida right now.
1. The state of Florida has the 3rd largest population in America
Talk about a retail boom! Consider that more people equal more customers and that should make it obvious that there are profits to be made selling products and services of all kinds in Florida. Also consider:
- Florida has the 3rd largest civilian labor force in the country with 10.1 million (obviously not everyone is a retiree here!)
- They have the 3rd largest population numbers at 20.6 million.
- The state has the 4th highest GDP in the U.S. at $926.8 billion.
- Florida is classified as the #2 best state for future job growth and #1 best state for business climate.
Florida has great population numbers and its residents have plenty of money to spend at your business!
2. Florida offers lucrative partnership opportunities with educational institutions
The size of Florida Talent pool helps turning the state into an “Employment First” state as of 2013. The initiative means to place the power of employability in the hands of all the state’s inhabitants, regardless of physical limitations. It’s also set forth a number of partnerships between local colleges and universities, to provide those businesses with qualified graduates seeking to train, live, and work in Florida.
The ultimate goal of these partnerships is to connect colleges and universities directly to Florida’s local business community. Some current examples of such partnerships include:
- GE Wind Energy in Pensacola partnering with the University of Western Florida’s College of Engineering;
- SAFT in Jacksonville teaming up with the UNF College of Engineering; and
- The University of Central Florida (UCF) in Orlando teamed up with Lockheed Martin, a US-based global aerospace and defense company, to offer the Lockheed Martin College Work Program, providing students with the chance to get hands-on work experience.
3. Florida has a booming technology scene
Florida was recently named the second most entrepreneurial city in the states. Not only that, but the region of South Florida also crowed as the number one in the U.S. for new startup activity It’s the tech hub of today that Silicon Valley was 10 years ago; with the highest startup density of anywhere at 248 startups per 100,000 people. Other tech startups worth mentioning that reside here include: Blue Origin, SpaceX, BRIDG, and many companies working in the newly emerging simulation product industry.
4. The government of Florida has incentives and resources to make a move worthwhile!
There are literally too many incentives that Florida has in place to attract businesses to their state that can be mentioned here. Some of the resources
- Expedited permitting: Allows businesses to gain the permits they need to do business faster, with the help of local regulatory agencies and government experts.
- JUTC: Jobs for the Unemployed Tax Credit allows for up to $10 million in tax credits to businesses who hire qualified employees that were previously unemployed in the 30 days leading up to their hire date.
- Rural incentives: Not into the big city scene? Florida has several incentives for businesses looking to grow their startups in rural areas of the state including lower wage thresholds and improved loan terms on SBA approved loans.
There are many other incentives offered under the Work Opportunity Tax Credit which was created to attract more businesses by cutting the cost of doing business in the state of Florida.
Not only incentives, but the government of Florida also provides the all-important resources for small businesses, namely:
- Florida SBDC: The Network has plenty of access to databases, resources and experts who can help your small business grow.
- GrowFL: The CEO Roundtables is a great resource where you can learn from fellow business leaders on many aspects of running your small business. Not only that, but GrowFL also offers Strategic Research Program, Growth Program for Manufacturers, and many other resources, such as webinars and workshops.
- FBIA Incubators: Need incubators? There are more than 70 organizations throughout Florida who are ready to help you in getting launched.
5. Florida will help prime your business for international growth
Florida’s proximity to South America, and its all-round tropical appeal makes it an alluring place to do business for companies aimed toward massive international growth. There’s a huge multi-cultural array of people here, not to mention it’s the second largest U.S. state for international banking.
Many associate Florida with its Latin population, but people from all over the country and all over the world choose to call Florida their home, making it a great place to recruit multicultural, multilingual talent that can help expand your business outside U.S. borders.
Additionally, foreign companies seeking a place to call home in this country will have no problem connecting with locals that both understand their business needs, while helping to connect those foreign businesses to the unique consumer needs of those residing in North America.
Florida is ready for your business. Are you ready to make the move?