Governor Scott announces first-ever Governor's Cup top 10 ranking for Florida


Today, Governor Rick Scott announced that, for the first time ever, Florida ranked in the top 10 for the Governor’s Cup by Site Selection Magazine. The Governor’s Cup 2013 ranking is given to the states with the most new and expanded corporate facilities. Florida’s 9th-place recognition is based on the steady growth of the state’s economic success in the last year.

Governor Scott said, “It is great news that Florida is ranked for the first time ever among the top states for the number of projects created in 2013 is telling of the work we’re doing in Florida. We have worked to streamline regulations, and eliminated the manufacturing equipment sales tax. We have also paid down debt and our workforce is the best in the country. Florida has everything needed to keep businesses thriving and we know IT’S WORKING in our state.”

In addition to Legislative efforts to create a more pro-business climate, Enterprise Florida (EFI) – the state’s public-private organization dedicated to economic development – has been aggressively pursuing competitive jobs projects. Through stronger partnerships and a first-ever campaign marketing Florida as a premier business state, both jobs projects and capital investment are up significantly. EFI’s new jobs for established projects are up nearly 91 percent compared to 2010 and capital investment continues to increase at 133 percent over 2010 figures.

“This ranking makes an incredibly strong statement for Florida as a top business destination,” said Secretary of Commerce and president & CEO of Enterprise Florida, Gray Swoope. “When the Governor talked with executives and site selectors back in 2011 and asked them what they thought of Florida as a business state, their responses let us know we had a lot of work to do. The success we’ve had in the last three years and this award lets us know we’ve changed the way businesses look at our state. There’s never been a better time to do business in Florida.”

Site Selection’s yearly analyses are regarded by corporate real estate analysts as “the industry scoreboard.” The magazine’s circulation base consists of 45,000 subscribers, most of whom are involved in corporate site selection decisions at the CEO/President/COO level.

The Governor’s Cup ranking is tracked by Conway Data’s (CDI) New Plant Database, which focuses on new corporate facility projects with significant impact. It does not track retail and government projects, or schools and hospitals. New facilities and expansions included in the analyses must meet at least one of three criteria: (a) involve a capital investment of at least US$1 million, (b) create at least 50 new jobs or (c) add at least 20,000 sq. ft. (1,858 sq. m.) of new floor area.

Just a few of the top business development projects established in FY 2012-2013 include:

Actavis, Inc. – Expansion of pharmaceutical manufacturing and warehouse facilities in Broward County creating 220 jobs and $40.5 million in capital investment.
Amazon.com Inc. –Two fulfillment centers in Hillsborough County and Polk County creating 1,000+ jobs and $300 million in capital investment.
Bristol-Myers Squibb – North America Capability Center in Hillsborough County creating 579 jobs and $21.1 million in capital investment.
Deutsche Bank Securities, Inc. – Expanding footprint in Duval County creating 300 jobs and more than $10 million in capital investment.
The Hertz Corporation – Corporate headquarters in Lee County creating at least 700 jobs and nearly $69 million in capital investment.
Klausner Lumber One Sawmill – Sawmill in Suwanee County creating 350 jobs and $130 million in capital investment.
NAVY FEDERAL Credit Union – Two projects in Escambia County creating 2,200 jobs and more than $206 million in capital investment.
Northrop Grumman Corporation –Two centers of excellence in St. Johns County and Brevard County creating more than 1,000 jobs and more than $100 million in capital investment.
Univision/ABC Network – Establishing presence in Miami-Dade County creating 346 jobs and more than $274 million in capital investment.
Verizon Communications – Center of Excellence in Seminole County creating 750 jobs and $50 million in capital investment.

Florida’s economy continues to receive national recognition. Recent rankings include:

#1 state for renewed consideration post-recession among site consultants. (Area Development)
#2 best state for business (Chief Executive)
#2 best business climate (Business Facilities)
#2 for access to capital and funding (Area Development)
4th lowest private sector unionization rate (unionstats.com)
Top 5 business environment (Area Development)
Top 5 business tax climate (Tax Foundation, Business Facilities)
Top 5 small business & entrepreneur-friendly policies (SBE Council)

by Enterprise Florida