Florida ranks second among the 50 states for having the best business climate, according to a new survey of U.S. corporate executives released at the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) annual conference.
Texas ranked first, Georgia ranked third, followed by South Carolina and North Carolina, respectively.
Conducted by the Development Counsellors International (DCI) every three years, the “Winning Strategies in Economic Development Marketing” survey has tracked trends in economic development since its inception in 1996.
Florida is in the No. 2 spot with 22 percent of the respondents naming it as the state with having the most favorable business climate.
Respondents who named Florida mentioned the state’s pro-business environment, favorable tax climate and its strategic location.
Southwest Airlines Company announced this week that it will offer three daily flights from Jacksonville to Ft. Lauderdale starting in April 2018.
The added route between two Florida cities stood out from the rest of Southwest’s new routes, which all focused on California. Southwest’s only other non-stop, daily routes added to a Florida city were routes from San Jose and Sacramento to Orlando.
“We’re excited about Southwest’s announcement because as they continue to grow in Fort Lauderdale, it means Northeast Florida travelers will have one easy connection point to destinations in Central America and the Caribbean,” Greg Willis, marketing program manager for the Jacksonville Aviation Authority, said by email.
Willis said the new flights will add approximately 2,000 weekly seats to the airport’s flights, a 25 percent increase from their current service levels. The flights will add to the three daily flights to Fort Lauderdale currently offered by JetBlue.
Southwest expects the flights will be popular.
“We know this will be a key business and leisure route,” Southwest spokesperson Dan Landson said by email. “Customers will be able to seamlessly connect to one of Southwest’s international flights from our new international gateway in Ft. Lauderdale.”
Southwest currently offers nonstop flights from Jacksonville International Airport to Atlanta, Nashville, Baltimore, Denver, Houston, Chicago and Dallas, according to Willis.
Will Robinson – Jacksonville Business Journal