#2 Florida

From the Governor

“We will have what I think is record investment into Florida and these will be industries like manufacturing, financial services, technology—those are good jobs, which in a tight labor market means rising salaries and rising wages.” —Gov. Ron DeSantis

Reaching the Trillion Dollar Mark

The Sunshine State’s GDP surpassed $1 trillion in July 2018 and has been growing by roughly $2.74 billion daily, according to the Florida Chamber of Commerce. If it were its own country, Florida would rank as the 17th-largest economy in the world. The state continues to capitalize on its low taxes, growing talent base and relatively affordable land with port access. Aerospace and life sciences are strong drivers. Lockheed Martin and Pratt & Whitney both announced major expansions in 2018.

Key Contacts

Enterprise Florida

Jamal Sowell
President & CEO
800 N. Magnolia Ave., Suite 1100
Orlando, FL 32803
(407) 956-5599

Key Incentives

Qualified Target Industry (QTI) Tax Refund: Offers refunds on corporate income, sales, property, insurance premium and other taxes of up to $3,000 per new job equivalent, with higher refunds for rural community jobs or jobs that pay higher-than-average annual wages.

Quick Response Training (QRT): Employer-driven training program that offers reimbursement for training expenses such as instructor wages, curriculum development and manuals.

Special Opportunity Incentives: Offers special incentives for development in rural areas, in economically depressed inner-city areas and in brownfield sites. The Brownfield Redevelopment Bonus Refund also offers an additional $2,500 tax refund for each job created in a brownfield site.


Enterprise Florida: enterpriseflorida.com

Greater Ft. Lauderdale Alliance: gfalliance.org

Miami-Dade Beacon Council: beaconcouncil.com

Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development: tampaedc.com

Orlando Economic Partnership: orlando.org

Highlighted Program or Initiative

Venture Bridge Florida is one of the first programs of its kind in the nation to help foreign investors prepare to enter the state’s market. As a partnership between several Florida and national organizations, it offers a “soft landing” with virtual training in marketing, partnerships and sales, as well as access to vetted, top Florida-based service providers in legal, accounting and marketing.

Big Deals

  • Lockheed Martin announced in February 2018 that it will be expanding in Orlando and creating 500 new jobs. The security and aerospace company now employs more than 14,000 Floridians at 73 locations in the state.
  • Aircraft engine and power unit manufacturer Pratt & Whitney announced in May 2018 that it will expand its operations in Palm Beach County and add 215 new jobs.
  • LignoTech Florida, a joint venture between Norwegian biochemical company Borregaard and specialty pump manufacturer Rayonier Advanced Materials, started production of lignin products at a $110 million mill in June 2018.
  • VT Mobile Aerospace Engineering added 400 jobs and opened a new aerospace engineering hangar at the Pensacola Airport in June 2018.
  • Wyndham Destinations announced in June 2018 that it will invest $7.5 million in a global headquarters in Orlando and will create 200 jobs.
  • United Technologies opened its 224,000-square-foot UTC Center for Intelligent Buildings in Palm Beach county, adding 380 jobs with a commitment to add another 100 soon.

Big Companies

17 Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in the state, including:

World Fuel Services
Tech Data
Hertz Global Holdings
Office Depot
NextEra Energy
Ryder System

C-Suite Testimonials

“We are thankful for the tremendous support from the state of Florida and Pensacola City governments, which have enabled us to set up the new facility on schedule and commence operations quickly.” —Lim Serh Ghee, President, ST Aerospace

“We are thankful for the support we receive from the state of Florida and Palm Beach County as we add 215 positions to our employee base of 1,300 and $100 million in capital investment, in addition to over $88 million we’ve invested in manufacturing and technology improvements to this site since 2012.” —David Carter, SVP of Engineering, Pratt & Whitney

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