By Michael W. Myhre
CEO and Network State Director, Florida SBDC
Florida is a big small business state and our state’s leaders understand that they are the engine to economic prosperity.
Small businesses comprise 98.9 percent of all businesses in the state and employ nearly half of the state’s private sector workforce. Florida’s small businesses have been a major contributor to the 1.2 million private sector jobs created since early 2010.
Florida consistently ranks as one of the top states for business thanks to its favorable business climate, tax benefits, no personal income tax, and proximity for global trade. Florida also benefits from a thriving tourism industry. In 2015, Florida became the first state to welcome more than 100 million domestic and international visitors.
However, Florida’s small businesses continue to face a host of challenges. Research shows that access to capital continues to remain the greatest challenge, with 28 percent of the Florida SBDC’s most recent survey of small business clients citing it as their top issue.
Cybersecurity is also a growing issue for small businesses. According to cybersecurity firm Symantec, last year 43 percent of cyber-attacks worldwide were targeted at small businesses with less than 250 employees, a 26 percent increase from 2014.
Additionally, while exporting provides a number of benefits, only a fraction of Florida’s small businesses export – roughly 2.8 percent.
The Florida SBDC Network is committed to fostering the growth and success of Florida’s small businesses. Find out how here.
This article is a series as part of the 2016 State of Small Business Report: Small Business and Its Impact on Florida, a report developed by the Florida SBDC Network in collaboration with the University of West Florida Center for Research and Economic Opportunity. To read the full report, please click here.