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Nancy Smith

Florida Second-Best State for Business in 2013, Say CEOs

December 17, 2013 - 6:00pm, online arm of Chief Executive magazine, looked at the business climate in all 50 states and ranked Florida second-best for business in the nation in 2013. It is the third year in a row the premier business publication has awarded the Sunshine State its second spot.

Only Texas, No. 1 for business six consecutive years, made a better showing.

The publication based its rankings on these sources: Bureau of Economic Analysis, Bureau of Labor Statistics,, and The Tax Foundation.

Six of the eight CEOs providing comment for the states were positive about Florida. Here's what all eight had to say:

-- Florida is becoming a hot bed for key industry clusters such as aviation, life science, corporate HQs and hedge funds.

-- Florida has a warm welcome mat, governor that is business friendly, less regulatory barriers, competitive incentives.

-- Florida offers no combined incentives for the state Every city is an Island. The startup and small growing business culture is horrible.

-- Florida [has the] lowest tax structure, best climate, good governor, focus in reducing unnecessary state and local bureaucracy, improving k-12 education system and great higher education system and access.

-- Florida is extremely corrupt. If it was not for the widespread corruption, its business climate would improve.

-- Florida has gained significant momentum with the new governor, who actually has manufacturing on the top priority list of his agenda.

-- Florida under Gov. Rick Scott has been making strides to make the state more business friendly, and Gov. Scott is trying to bring jobs all over the state, not just South Florida and the I-4 corridor.

-- Florida has a governor who is committed to job growth and lessening red tape.

Chief Executive magazine states, "We believe CEOs are the cornerstones of the free-enterprise system, and we help them do their jobs better to the benefit of their customers, employees, shareholders and themselves."

In September, Area Development Magazine ranked Florida No. 1 for Renewed Consideration Post-Recession.

Gov. Rick Scott touted the award, stating Florida received another one earlier this year -- a Silver Shovel Award from Area Development.

Area Development Magazine is a national trade publication that recognizes economic development around the country. Its editors surveyed a select group of location experts who work directly with a national client base. Those experts were asked to pick their top five state choices in 14 different site selection categories.

Reach Nancy Smith at or at 228-282-2423.

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