Florida is a Great Place to Live and Work
Posted by Benjamin Dona on Tuesday, July 7th, 2009 at 5:43pm.
According to a report from the Florida Association of Realtors (FAR), Florida is both a great place to live and work. Naturally, those of us who reside in the Sunshine State already know this to be true. But for many of the folks outside of our wonderful state who might be unaware, here are some interesting things to consider.
- Florida is the fourth most populous state in the United States, with a large and diverse population.
- The state's Legislature has made it a priority to not only encourage new businesses and industries to come to Florida, but to provide the kind of supportive climate that entrepreneurs and businesses need to succeed and prosper. Florida Among Top 5 States for Best Business Climate
- Florida continues to be one of the best states for business, ranking No. 1 in the nation for workforce; among the top 10 for technology, innovation and access to capital; and third overall in Chief Executive’s survey of the best places for jobs and business growth. (Chief Executive, March 2009)
- Four Florida metros, Orlando, Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, Cape Coral-Fort Myers and Jacksonville, are among the nation’s best places to start a small business. (Bizjournals, Feb 2009) Florida - A Great Place for Small Business
- Florida has the second highest number (tied with Washington) of leading metropolitan areas on the Milken Institute/Greenstreet Real Estate Partners Best Performing
- Cities 2008 - 2009 Largest Metros Index. Florida consistently ranks among the top states in this annual report, which measures economic growth, job creation and technology growth. (Milken Institute, September 2008)
- Florida earned top spots on Site Selection’s 2008 Top State Business Climate rankings. The state’s business climate ranked fourth among executives and sixth overall. (Site Selection, November 2008)
- Florida continues to rank among the top five states for best tax climates for business, according to a Tax Foundation survey. With no state income tax, low corporate
- taxes, a low unemployment insurance tax rate and sales tax exemptions for certain business transactions, Florida has remained among the top five U.S. states since the survey’s inception. (The Tax Foundation, October 2008)
- Florida’s economic climate ranks No. 1 in the U.S., according to Forbes’ Best States for Business. Ranking eighth overall, Florida also scored among the top five in the Labor and Growth Prospects categories. (Forbes, August 2008)
What else does Florida living have to offer? Well, just pick up any travel brochure and some of its many benefits become readily clear: Beautiful beaches, miles of scenic parks and nature preserves and of course, oceans, rivers and lakes offering boating, fishing, swimming and other water recreation sports. A rich and varied history including the city of St. Augustine, the oldest permanent European settlement in the mainland United States and the Florida Keys, a truly eclectic and laid back experience. Unique entertainment parks like Disney World and other family-friendly attractions including baseball spring training and NASCAR racing. Cultural activities that offer residents and visitors fine theater, music, dance and arts events. Then there is Florida’s climate featuring an average annual high of 81 degrees and an average annual low of 60 degrees, giving the Sunshine State its well-known nickname and reputation.
Quality of Life:
- Florida beaches' were awarded more top 10 spots than any other state, including the No. 1 beach in the U.S., Caladesi Island State Park, on America’s Best Beaches list for 2008. This internationally recognized ranking by Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman (aka Dr. Beach) is based on 50 criteria including number of sunny days, sand softness, algae and pollution content, safety record, and more. Leatherman is a Ph.D. coastal scientist, professor of environmental studies and director of the Laboratory for Coastal Research at Florida International University in Miami.
- The state's park system, one of the largest in the U.S., has 160 parks covering more than 700,000 acres and 100 miles of Florida's beaches. Our Favorite Time of the Year in Southwest Florida
- Seven of Relocate-America's Top 100 Places to Live in 2008 were Florida cities, including one, Flagler Beach, which was named to the Top 10. These rankings attest to Florida’s high quality of life, and are based on a combination of economic data and feedback from people who live in each area.
- In many ways, Florida’s cost of living is below that of other states with similar economic growth and in-migration rates. For example, the state's homeownership rate currently stands at about 70 percent, well above the national average. And, with data from the Florida Association of Realtors showing that $187,800 was the statewide median price for an existing home at year-end 2008, housing prices compare well to other similar states.
- Noted for its outstanding statewide system of trails, Florida was named the Best Trails State in America, winning the biennial National Trails Award in this past November from the national nonprofit organization American Trails.
- Five Florida universities were named to the Best Values in Public Colleges list for 2009 by Kiplinger's Personal Finance. The schools are University of Florida, ranking No. 2 in the nation; New College of Florida, No. 8; Florida State University, No. 17; University of Central Florida, No. 42; and the University of South Florida, No. 75. Among other criteria, these rankings recognize schools with top academics and affordable costs.
So, if you're considering relocating your business or family to Florida, just come on down and see for yourself what this beautiful state has to offer. You'll surely be glad you did.
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About the Author
Benjamin Dona is the Broker and Owner of Gulf Coast Associates, Realtors in Bonita Springs, Florida. He holds two advanced degrees, an MBA and an MA, and has an extensive background in both business and marketing. In 1998, he founded Gulf Coast Associates, and formed a group of like-minded Realtor® associates dedicated to offering professional Southwest Florida real estate services by concentrating on information, education and the use of leading edge technologies. He also is a recognized expert on the "Net," a much-quoted and read blog author, and a contributor to both national and international news outlets. Benjamin is a member of the National Association of Realtors, the Florida Association of Realtors, and numerous local real estate boards throughout Southwest Florida.
Contact Benjamin Dona at 239-948-3955
Southwest Florida Real Estate Blog