The legislative session may be over, but Gov. Rick Scott's push to make Florida the top destination for business and jobs isn't. That much was clear Tuesday as the Hertz Corp., a rental car company, announced it was moving its international headquarters from New Jersey to the Sunshine State.
The Fortune 500 rental car company plans on building a $50.5 million corporate office in Estero. The 300,000-square-foot facility will ultimately create 1,704 jobs and have a $190.2 million annual economic impact to Lee County by 2017, Florida Gulf Coast University economist Gary Jackson said.
After our recent business expansion, we have been looking for the right location to blend Hertz and Dollar Thrifty head office employees, Hertz chairman and CEO Mark Frissora said in a statement announcing the move to Estero, in Lee County. Florida is the center of the U.S. travel and tourism industry this move enables us to be closer to leisure and business customers, as well as many travel and association partners.
Up to 700 jobs are expected to relocate to Southwest Florida over the next two years thanks to this move, according to a press release from Scott's office.
These 700 jobs, along with opportunities for continued growth in Southwest Florida, will make a big impact across the Sunshine State. We are proud to say that Florida is not just a top destination for vacationers, but for growing businesses from all around the world, Scott said in his own statement. We have a diverse and highly-skilled workforce, no personal income tax, and a pro-business attitude. We have had an incredible economic turnaround in the past two years with the creation of nearly 300,000 private-sector jobs. Our economic formula in Florida to create jobs and opportunities for families to succeed is working and it is clearly why Hertz chose to relocate here.
It wasn't just Scott who tooted his horn Thursday. Several coalitions of businesses, big and small, lauded the move and what they said is that Scott's administration fosters a favorable employment climate.
On behalf of the small-business community, I welcome Hertz Car Rental to Florida. Hertz joining the business community will substantially contribute to job growth and help promote Florida as a great state for business, Bill Herrle, Florida executive director of the National Federation of Independent Business, said in a statement. Their move is evidence of the continuing improvement in the business climate, and Governor Scott's dedication to making the changes that businesses need to be successful in Florida.
Anytime a Fortune 500 company like Hertz relocates its corporate headquarters, its a big deal, echoed Mark Wilson, president and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. With Florida building the perfect climate for business, Florida continues to attract businesses to start up or expand their operations, bringing new jobs and opportunities. ... As Governor Rick Scott says about efforts to make Florida more competitive, its working.
Even the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA) got in on the act.
We commend Governor Rick Scott for fostering a positive business relationship with this Fortune 500 company, said Carol Dover, president and CEO of the FRLA. Hertz is a wonderful corporation that works directly with the tourism industry by helping our visitors travel our state with ease and in turn encouraging continued growth here in Florida.
Bruce Fields, senior vice president for Manhattan Construction in Naples, said, "This type of project coming to our market is like a huge magnet for all the specialty trades that left in the downturn. Not only will this help the local economy in terms of creating jobs, but its going to help the subcontractors stay here and attract more people to the area.
Reach Eric Giunta at email@example.com or at (954) 235-9116.