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Business Observer Friday, May 11, 2018 2 years ago

Florida, always a bridesmaid, seeks to surpass Texas

Florida came in second place in the latest survey published by Chief Executive magazine.

Florida’s sunshine, yet again, is only worth a silver medal when it comes to the annual best and worst states to do business in survey published by Chief Executive magazine.

How much of a silver? This is the 14th straight year Florida is the runner-up to Texas in the survey, of some 300 CEOs nationwide. The biggest factor blocking Florida from dethroning Texas won’t come as a surprise to many business leaders: workforce quality. Florida ranked No. 22 in that category, while Texas was No. 4.

The business climate survey, on topics including workforce, taxes and regulation and living environment, had little movement at the top and bottom compared to pervious surveys, beyond Florida’s Texas chase. North Carolina and South Carolina tied for third place, while Indiana ranked No. 5. On the rear of the list, the worst states to do business in, the survey found, are: California at No. 50, followed by New York, Illinois, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts. All those positions, the magazine states, have remained virtually the same for four straight years.

Florida, meanwhile, will not give hope at unseating Texas.

In an article on the survey, the magazine says the “Orlando area is leading the charge with a flourishing advanced manufacturing sector, based on being at the center of a nexus of colleges and universities and tapping the expertise of engineers from the nearby Space Coast around Cape Canaveral on the Atlantic Ocean.”

Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik, who the magazine calls “the most prominent real estate investor in the Tampa Bay area,” also backs the state’s play for business climate supremacy. Says Vinik, citing thoughts many of his peers share: Florida “is a very good place to do business, with relatively low regulations and relatively low cost of labor, a good university system and low cost of living with no income taxes.”




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