Florida Attracting People, Business At A Fast Pace

With an unemployment rate lower than the national average, The Sunshine State offers programs to continue developing its diverse and talented workforce.

By BF Editors
From the January / February 2023 Issue

On track to be the home to 26 million people by 2030, Florida has an ever-growing economy. With the expectant workforce growing there will be a need for 1.62 million new jobs. To aid in the growth of the economy, The Sunshine State offers the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund. This program is designed to promote public infrastructure and workforce training statewide specific to the needs of communities around the state.

Despite the continued population growth in Florida, the state has an unemployment rate of 2.2%, which is lower than the national average of 3.5%. In addition to having a low unemployment rate, Florida also continues to exceed the national job growth rate for the last 21 months. This is in line with the state’s Florida 2030 plan, which is a two-year research program designed to identify key trends that contribute to regional success.

Florida 2030 offers the opportunity for collaboration to strengthen communities and businesses for the future of all 66 counties. With the addition of nearly 1,000 residents a day, the state is motivated to attract businesses of all industries. Even in current economic conditions, Florida is forecasted to create more than 250,000 jobs in 2023, continuing the state’s leadership as one of the nation’s top job creators. The Sunshine State is already home to over 22,000 manufacturing companies that employ more than 411,000 workers.

In 2022, The Sunshine State was ranked as the #1 state for attracting and developing a skilled workforce in the nation in a Lightcast study. The nationwide research assesses growth areas of the most recent five-year period including net migration of counties adding new residents, education attainment, job creation, skilled job creation, competitive effect, and average annual job openings.

People See Opportunities In Florida’s Hollywood

The migration into Florida of people and businesses continues from the Northeast and West Coast, and the City of Hollywood on Florida’s southeast coast continues to be a destination of choice. Those looking to grow their businesses find more than just seven miles of beautiful beach with a city attached. They also find a prime location for conducting international trade and easy access to major employment centers and transportation routes. Hollywood is where successful businesses want to locate, and successful people want to be.

Florida Business
Hollywood, FL offers an envious beach lifestyle in the heart of the cultural and entertainment options South Florida has to offer.(Credit: City of Hollywood)

A Closer Look At Hollywood, FL. Strategically located in sunny South Florida between Miami and Fort Lauderdale, the City of Hollywood is home to the Fort Lauderdale — Hollywood International Airport, Port Everglades, and corporate headquarters for industry leaders such as HEICO Corporation, Sintavia, and Quantum Marine. With a daily population of 157,000 and an annual visitor log of over five million to the area, people are taking a closer look at Hollywood, FL.

Investment Underway. To support and encourage private redevelopment, the city is committing millions of dollars in public infrastructure improvements. Water and sewer line updates are ongoing, miles of new sidewalks are being installed, and flood control solutions are being deployed to combat the effects of sea level rise. Hollywood is home to more than 60 parks and recreational facilities and the city is about to break ground on an updated 18-hole public golf course and clubhouse.

Prime Location Is Key To Success. Hollywood’s commercial corridors are well positioned to capture foot and drive traffic and provide easy access to deliver customers to your door and product out to market. The South Florida Design and Commerce Center is a 150-acre mixed-use business park offering high visibility from Interstate 95 and convenient commuter rail connections within one of Hollywood’s two designated Opportunity Zones. Another sought after location for business in the city is the Port 95 Commerce Park, a leading industrial business park with over two million square feet of warehouse and industrial space. Port 95 is strategically located near I-95, the Florida Turnpike, I-595, FLL, and Port Everglades. This is the perfect location for companies in the aviation/aerospace, marine technology, and advanced manufacturing space.

An Enviable Beach Lifestyle. As a world-class tourism destination, Hollywood offers an envious beach lifestyle in the heart of the cultural and entertainment options South Florida has to offer. In Hollywood, the Art and Culture Center-Hollywood, the ArtsPark at Young Circle, Hollywood Hot Glass, and the Downtown Hollywood Mural Project are all amenities within the historic downtown district. If water activities or a slower beachfront lifestyle is what you are after, then Hollywood Beach awaits. The family-friendly 2.5-mile world-famous Hollywood Beach Broadwalk is an oceanfront promenade that welcomes nearly five million visitors annually to stroll, bike, or dine steps from the sand. And with just over seven miles of sandy beach, there is a place for everyone to relax and take in all Hollywood has to offer. See Life. See Opportunities in Florida’s Hollywood.

For more information, visit www.choosehollywoodfl.com.

FORT LAUDERDALE: Your Destination for Success

Countless companies from startups to Fortune 500 call Greater Fort Lauderdale their address for success. With a large pool of skilled professionals, an inviting quality of life, and one of America’s most competitive tax climates, Greater Fort Lauderdale ranks among the world’s highly attractive business destinations.

Greater Fort Lauderdale (metropolitan Broward County) is home to more than 200 corporate and international regional headquarters, including AutoNation, Chewy, Citrix, El Al Israel Airlines, Hotwire Communications, JetBlue Travel Products, Kaplan Inc., Magic Leap, Spirit Airlines, West Marine, and UKG. It is the geographic and business center of South Florida, the largest metropolitan region in the Southeast United States with a population of 6.1 million and a workforce of over 3.1 million.

Florida Business
Representatives of El Al Israel Airlines, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, Broward County and the City of Margate announce El Al’s Americas Headquarters relocation from Manhattan to Greater Fort Lauderdale. (Credit: Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance)

Brokers and site location consultants hold a very high perception of Greater Fort Lauderdale as a location of choice for corporate headquarters, according to a survey by consulting firm Boyette Strategic Advisors for the CEO Council of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance. About 94% of respondents view Greater Fort Lauderdale as a positive or very positive potential location for a corporate headquarters.

U.S. and international companies appreciate Greater Fort Lauderdale’s strategic location and convenient access to global markets, its multilingual and multicultural professional workforce, and numerous education and workforce training programs. Aviation, technology, business, financial and professional services, life sciences, manufacturing, and other knowledge-based companies benefit from the region’s large and growing pool of highly skilled, college-educated workers.

With an unmatched quality of life, including a wide array of housing choices, excellent schools, and year-round golf, boating, and other outdoor activities, Greater Fort Lauderdale offers an ideal location for CEOs, mid-level executives, entrepreneurs, and young talent to “Work in the Cloud and Live in the Sun.”

The region also offers easy access to domestic and international markets with three international airports, including convenient service to Latin America, the Caribbean, and Europe.

When El Al Israel Airlines rerouted its U.S. headquarters from New York to Greater Fort Lauderdale in the city of Margate, the carrier landed in a destination known for its low taxes and cost of living, global business community, and easy access to world markets. Its employees will find an unmatched quality of life and world-class cultural offerings. El Al isn’t alone. It joins a strong cluster of headquarters for tourism companies that call the area home—including Spirit Airlines, JetBlue Travel Products, Silver Airways, and the North American headquarters of Norway-based Norse Atlantic Airways and SIXT rent a car. Another offering is the region’s robust, multicultural and multilingual talent pool—and area colleges training future aviation professionals right here in Greater Fort Lauderdale.

For more information, visit LessTaxing.com.

Hernando County: A Great Place To Start, And Stay

Hernando County, in the dynamic Tampa Bay Region, welcomes you with the perfect blend of business and lifestyle opportunities. Availability, affordability, accessibility, and community, that’s what we’re all about.

The Brooksville–Tampa Bay Regional Airport and Technology Center (BKV) serves up an abundance of opportunity just 40 minutes north of Tampa International Airport. Perfect for aviation-related businesses, this general aviation airport features a 7,000ft ILS equipped primary runway (with plans to extend to 8,000ft), an air traffic control tower, and newly revealed airside development parcels. The Technology Center is a premier business location and Hernando County’s epicenter of economic development. An expansive 2,400 acres, BKV’s master-planned campus boasts features that include available manufacturing buildings, over 1,000 acres of land for development, sites with direct access for aircraft movement and parking, and a Duke Energy Ready Site 285-acre parcel with infrastructure in place.

Hernando County
Construction on the new Barrette Outdoor Living facility in Hernando County is well underway. This 175,000-square-foot vinyl extrusion manufacturing plant will employ 150 people and feature a PVC recycling center. (Credit: Hernando County Office of Economic Development)

With access to more than 300,000 workers within a 30-minute drive, a technical high school, and Wilton Simpson Technical College nearby, you can see why BKV is home to successful businesses such as Airdyne Aerospace, Pem-Air Turbine Engine Services, American Aviation Flight Academy, AccuformNMC, Barrette Outdoor Living, and Micro-Matic USA to name just a few.

Accessibility and transportation are essential to business and with five major highways crisscrossing Hernando County, shipping and receiving are a breeze. On the east side of the county, just a mile from Interstate 75 and State Road 50—central Florida’s east-west artery—and 40 miles from the Florida Turnpike, several developers are planning large-scale projects. Besides Interstate 75, north-south routes include US 19, the Suncoast Parkway (FL589), and US 41. The latter two run adjacent to the Brooksville-Tampa Bay Regional Airport and Technology Center, providing a two-stoplight direct connection to Tampa International Airport.

A business-friendly community, Hernando County is committed to growing. The county has invested in the BKV Tech Center by providing infrastructure-ready sites for business expansion needs. Road, water, and sewer are available throughout the park; drainage and water retention are master planned affording significant construction savings. By combining State of Florida incentives, workforce training programs, and our Expedited Permitting and Inspection Certification program (EPIC), Hernando County is the ideal place for your business to thrive.

Building the pipeline for your future workforce needs is a top priority in Hernando County. Our relationships with the local school system and post-secondary institutions help influence curriculum and workforce training programs to suit specific business requirements. Partnerships with the Wilton Simpson Technical College, Pasco-Hernando State College, St. Leo University, University of South Florida, University of Florida, and University of Central Florida, along with a robust technical high school, ensure access to business expertise as well as a pool of well-trained and motivated employees.

Hernando County is also known as Florida’s Adventure Coast, thanks to an abundance of coastal and outdoor recreational activities. On the Gulf of Mexico, the Hernando County coast will lure you to some of the best fishing, scalloping, and shallow water boating in west central Florida. Inland, enjoy playing championship golf courses and kayaking on a matrix of waterways.

The metro markets of Tampa and Orlando are a short drive away for Hernando County. Residents here enjoy big-city conveniences while living in an active suburban community where the cost of living consistently ranks lowest in Tampa Bay’s seven-county region.

For more information, visit www.hernandobusiness.com.

Indian River County: Where Your Business Needs to Be

Indian River County—Vero Beach, Sebastian, Fellsmere—strikes a perfect balance between business and pleasure. Those who live, work, or visit Florida’s Central East Coast experience a safe and affordable community that’s rich in history and natural resources. Year-round mild temperatures and the azure waters of the Atlantic Ocean provide a variety of outdoor activities. The county was recently awarded a Bronze-level recognition as a Bicycle Friendly Community from the League of American Bicyclists.

Corporate executives often locate their companies in this area because of their positive vacation experience, plus many have winter homes in Vero Beach. The partners in Kessel Medical, a medical device manufacturer, made the decision to relocate from the traffic-burdened Atlanta area to Vero Beach for a less hectic environment.

Vero Beach
Vero Beach is the second most populous city in Indian River County. (Credit: Indian River County Chamber of Commerce)

Located midway between West Palm Beach and Cape Canaveral, Indian River County is within three hours of over 18 million consumers, or 90% of Florida’s population, with easy access to Latin markets. The Indian River Chamber’s Economic Development Office is assisting a Canadian-based manufacturer with his expansion into the county to better serve his customers in the U.S. and Latin America.

Advanced industries from aviation to aquaculture and emerging tech to health care benefit from a low cost of doing business and some of the lowest taxes in the nation. Commute times within the county are no more than 30 minutes, and an hour or less within the tri-county region, with none of the urban sprawl, traffic, or congestion found elsewhere.

Indian River County is also a cost-competitive place to locate or expand your business. The Indian River Chamber participates in the national Cost of Living survey, comparing a variety of cost factors with 300 other markets throughout the country. Year after year, the Vero Beach-Sebastian area is typically on par, or slightly lower, than the national average.

The county has hundreds of acres of low-cost land available for commercial or industrial development, much of it located near I-95, a major north-south transportation route along the East Coast—perfect for warehouse/distribution operations. The county offers competitive property tax rates, local incentives, and no state income tax.

Air transportation in the area is served by two general aviation airports which primarily cater to private and corporate aircraft. Sebastian Airport is home to Whelen Aerospace Technologies, a global leader in high-end lighting products for the aerospace industry.  Vero Beach Regional Airport is home to Piper Aircraft, an internationally recognized manufacturer of small personal aircraft. Both airports have plenty of airside and non-aviation land available for future development.

Because location is central to success, Indian River County isn’t just where you want to be—it’s central to where you and your business ought to be.

Visit www.indianrivered.com for more information.

Putnam County: The Heart Of North Florida

Putnam County, FL is a progressive, rural community with easy access to major metropolitan areas, a competitive business climate, and an attractive lifestyle. We are in the northeastern region of Florida, just south of Jacksonville, which is Florida’s largest municipality by population and size. We’re nearly equal distance to Jacksonville, Ocala, Daytona, Gainesville, and Orlando, making us the hub of Northeast Florida. We are located within two hours’ driving distance to all major attractions in Central Florida, international airports, and many of Florida’s beautiful beaches. While having a favorable low cost of doing business, we take pride in a relaxing waterfront life with affordable utilities and proximity to over 20 colleges and universities.

Florida Business
Putnam County combines quality of life, abundant natural resources, and opportunities for businesses to thrive. (Credit: Putnam County Chamber of Commerce)

Ready Workforce. The available workforce to companies looking to expand or locate in Putnam County is very diverse. Putnam County’s workforce size is 27,877. Putnam County’s labor pool draw area, as calculated by combining Putnam’s labor force plus neighboring Alachua, Bradford, Clay, Flagler, Marion, St Johns, and Volusia counties, is 756,539. Putnam County’s unemployment rate is 5.9%. The workforce’s median age is 44 years old, with 70.4% of residents aged 25 and older having a high school diploma and 9.4% of the same age group having a college bachelor’s degree or higher.

Unique Characteristics. Putnam County is the rural heart of North Florida, combining a high quality of life, abundant natural resources, and opportunities for businesses and residents to thrive. The beautiful St. Johns River, one of the few rivers in the world that flows north, is the centerpiece of the county and runs the length of it, making for great waterfront living, as well as providing commercial working waterfront locations.

Vision for the Future. Our plan is to continue progressively welcoming balanced growth and further diversifying our industrial base ensuring success and prosperity for all. Our future includes the attraction of quality sustainable jobs that pay competitive wages, providing a prepared workforce with increased skill and education levels, and having more available shovel-ready commercial and industrial sites.

For more information visit www.putnamcountychamber.com.

Class A Logistics Space Serving South & Central Florida

What do the Sansone Group, Tambone Companies, Hope Commercial Holdings, JBL Asset Management, Seefried Industrial Properties, Stonemont Financial Group, and others have in common? All are developing Class A industrial facilities in St. Lucie County, FL.

Located midway between Miami and Orlando, within a three-hour drive of 70% of Florida’s population, St. Lucie County offers, by far, southeastern Florida’s lowest costs, unmatched speed-to-market, and 10 commerce parks with more than six million square feet of industrial facility space, ready now or build-to-suit.

St. Lucie County
This industrial facility by the Sansone Group is one of several Class A facilities for lease in St. Lucie County. (Credit: St. Lucie EDC)

The sites have easy access to Interstate 95 and Florida’s Turnpike, as well as options for rail, ocean, and air transit. St. Lucie County is the northernmost point in Florida where I-95 and the turnpike meet. All sites are within Foreign Trade Zone 218.

The county and its two cities, Fort Pierce and Port St. Lucie (Florida’s seventh largest city), provide exceptional speed-to-market. For example, a 106,000-square-foot expansion with environmental considerations was approved in 41 days, and 1.1 million square feet of new construction in 89 days.

“In addition to our location, land availability, low costs, and workforce; our county, municipalities, and the EDC work closely together to ensure companies interested in creating jobs here receive expedited review, tax incentives if qualified, and the kind of sincere welcome not often experienced elsewhere,” said Pete Tesch, President of the Economic Development Council of St. Lucie County.

Industrial and commerce parks include:

  • Legacy Park at Tradition by the Sansone Group: 168,000 SF Class A industrial facility slated for early 2023 occupancy, 520,000 SF ready mid-2023, plus 5.4 million SF of development-ready vacant land;
  • Interstate Commerce Center by JBL Asset Management: from 20,000 to 207,458 SF ready in 2023;
  • Interstate Crossroads Logistics Center: 1 million SF ready now; and
  • Additional parks leasing from 16,000-1.1 million SF ready in 2023.

The Port St. Lucie MSA offers a dynamic workforce of 230,000+ and low average labor costs. A 2022 study noted that 61% of the county’s workforce out-commutes, highlighting the opportunity to draw these commuters to new local jobs.

Robust career and technical training programs are offered by St. Lucie Public Schools and Indian River State College (IRSC). In addition to degree programs, IRSC provides short-term, in-demand career certifications. With a 98% high school graduation rate and more than 35 career and technical education programs, St. Lucie’s non-college-bound youth have many options to prepare for successful careers in targeted industries.

In addition to direct access via I-95 and Florida’s Turnpike, Highway 70 connects the county to Florida’s west coast. FEC Railroad runs along US 1 and the 3,660-acre Treasure Coast International Airport has customs officials on-site and a full-service FBO.

St. Lucie County is located in a spectacular setting with enviable natural resources—21 miles of pristine coastline and beaches, more than 20,000 acres of parks and preserves, and miles of waterways.

Visit www.youredc.com for more information.

Cape Coral Welcomes Growth

Competing in today’s global market can be demanding, so you want to be in a thriving business region with all the right amenities: safe, modern, and convenient transportation, technological infrastructure, and a positive environment for your business sector and employees.

If you’re considering the southeast United States, look no further than Cape Coral, FL, a rich and supportive business environment that enables companies to grow quickly—and a paradise for your workforce.

Fast Florida Facts. Florida is known as the Sunshine State, and for good reason. Beyond the sunshine, you’ll find there are other key factors business leaders and decision-makers need to know about Florida which include:

  • Florida’s 0% income tax
  • Home to the nation’s third largest workforce, totaling more than 10 million
  • Florida’s biggest companies cover a variety of sectors and industries including aviation and aerospace, fintech, manufacturing, and life sciences
  • One of the world’s most extensive multimodal systems, featuring international airports, deepwater seaports, extensive highway and rail networks
  • A cost-efficient alternative to high-tech states with more affordable land, labor, and capital than its competitors
  • Florida’s tourism industry was responsible for welcoming 122 million visitors in 2021, representing a 54% increase from 2020
  • As one of the world’s Top 20 economies, Florida has attracted nearly $100 billion in investment from companies based outside the U.S.

So now that you’re considering Florida as a paradise for growing businesses, let’s take a closer look at Cape Coral.

Insight into Cape Coral’s Forecast. Cape Coral is the largest city in Southwest Florida and stands apart from all other communities in the region. With a population of over 200,000 and growing, Cape Coral is home to the largest workforce between Tampa and Miami and one of the nation’s fastest growing cities—the city’s population is expected to grow by 4,300 people annually over the next 10 years.

The sprawling, 120-mile city—the third largest geographically in the state—is only 50% percent built, offering wide-open opportunities to find a prime location for your business along with demographics to suit your goods and services.

In addition to an ideal, year-round climate, Cape Coral has been nicknamed “Waterfront Wonderland” due to the city’s 400 miles of canals, more than any other city in the world. It is no wonder why Cape Coral frequently ranks as a favorite place to live, vacation, and start a business.

The Cape Coral Economic and Business Development Office is working on several fronts to attract new investors and businesses; facilitate the expansion of existing businesses; and create new and improved employment opportunities. The team has created a robust incentive program and is recruiting select business sectors to create a rich and diverse business environment. If you’re looking to relocate or expand your business, it’s time for you to consider a move to Cape Coral, FL, and discover the city that is “flowing with possibilities.”

For more information, visit www.capecoral.gov.


Situated along the scenic Indian River Lagoon on Florida’s central east coast, the City of Titusville is a full-service community that provides its nearly 50,000 residents with a comprehensive array of public amenities. The “Space Coast,” whose name is derived from the awe-inspiring launches that depart from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC), encompasses more than 72 miles of shoreline and 16 municipalities, including Titusville, in Brevard County.

Titusville is experiencing an unparalleled resurgence, not only because of its notable history with the United States space program but also due to the increasing number of private-sector companies that continue to emerge in the aerospace industry. Private aerospace pioneers such as SpaceX, Blue Origin, and Space Perspective, have all said Yes to Titusville.

Florida Business
Titusville offers unrivaled viewing of rocket launches, which have become a near-daily occurrence on the Space Coast. (Credit: Rick Allen Photography)

In close proximity to pristine beaches and a myriad of activities, life in Titusville is nicely balanced. The area is renowned for its numerous outdoor recreational opportunities, and the historic downtown now serves as the junction of three major multipurpose trails. A mere 45-minute jaunt to the west transports inhabitants and their guests to Orlando and all of its legendary theme parks and attractions.

A transportation gateway, the city is served by three international airports Orlando International (MCO), Orlando-Sanford (SFB), and Melbourne-Orlando (MLB), which are all within one hour of Titusville. Just minutes away, the Space Coast Regional Airport (TIX) welcomes private and corporate aircrafts and is also one of only about 20 designated Spaceports in the country. Interstate 95, U.S. Highway 1, and the Florida East Coast Railway traverse directly through the city, and nearby Port Canaveral features numerous advantages of Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) 136 for businesses engaged in international trade.

Statewide, business owners contemplating The Sunshine State for location or expansion will find Florida’s business climate to be much like its weather—quite favorable. Some advantages that prospective entrepreneurs can expect include few obstacles to becoming established, thanks to streamlined and minimal business regulations, coupled with a business-friendly, cost-competitive tax structure. Since most startups are S-corporations, limited liability companies, partnerships, or sole proprietorships they will not incur state income taxes, nor is a state income tax imposed on individuals.

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The talent pipeline in the state is continually ranked among the greatest in the country due, in part, to 12 public universities, six prestigious medical schools, and numerous private institutions of higher learning. In Titusville, new hires can be recruited from nearby Florida Institute of Technology, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and the University of Central Florida.

Although an ample supply of preexisting housing is available, Titusville continues to incorporate additional residential units of the single- and multi-family varieties. Housing starts are a useful indicator of community viability and vitality when determining locations for new retail and commercial venues.

In a word, Titusville is resilient. Not only has it survived the cessation of two United States space programs but, as a result of steadfast elected leaders and dedicated administrators, the city has managed to emerge stronger and capable of reaching new heights each time.

Visit www.YEStitusvilleFL.com for more information.

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