Florida Rated No.2 Best State for Business by 2023 Chief Executive Best and Worst States for Business Report
Florida was rated the second-best state for business (behind Texas, again), according to a 2023 Chief Executive Best and Worst States for Business report. The magazine surveys top U.S. CEOs and Florida ranked second for the second year in a row for its “low taxes and strong stance against pandemic-motivated business shutdowns,” the report notes.
However, among the chiefs surveyed for the 2023 rankings, Florida actually picked up a bit of ground versus Texas. But still, it did not overtake the Lone Star State. According to the report, “[Texas’] combination of business-friendly policies, growing cities, a rising professional class, and a direct appeal to CEOs who aren’t happy with California continues to keep Texas at the head of the class.”
However, the report notes that Florida has exhibited more of the same characteristics as Texas over the last several years, with a “decidedly stronger tilt toward business beginning with the start of DeSantis’s term as governor in 2019.” DeSantis’ “open for business” policies also helped Florida keep its second-best ranking because of the governor’s “popularity among business owners,” the report states. It also notes that DeSantis’ policies specifically helped “kick off a stronger stream of migration to the state from relatively locked-down places including New York.” More than 700,000 people have moved to the Sunshine State since 2020, according to the U.S. Census.
If Florida were its own country, it would be the 13th largest economy in the world at over $1.23 trillion.
The report notes that “While Florida took an economic and physical beating from Hurricane Ian in September 2022, its economy remains strong. Gov. Ron DeSantis isn’t shy about promoting Florida’s economic success, noting in May 2022 that private sector employment growth was double that of the national average. Additionally, the state closed out the fiscal year with a record $20 billion in state reserves.”
The report also highlights key tax credit and grant programs in Florida that are attractive to CEOs.
It identifies three key tax credit programs, including Florida’s Capital Investment Tax Credit, which offers an annual corporate income tax credit that lasts for up to 20 years. The tax credit applies to projects that create a minimum of 100 jobs and invest at least $25 million in eligible capital costs.
It also highlights Florida’s Urban Job Tax Credit Program, which offers between $500 and $2,000 per qualified job for eligible businesses located in one of 13 designated urban areas, and Florida’s Research and Development Tax Credit, which offers a credit of up to 10% of the excess qualified research expenses.