News Archive

Florida Port Seeing Large Investment

Port Everglades is now widening and deepening the port to allow larger ships. Port Everglades is among the nation’s leading ports, exceeding one million TEUs (the industry’s standard measurement for containers) during Fiscal Year 2021, and is anticipated to set a port record for Fiscal Year 2022. About 15% of all U.S.-Latin American trade moves through Port Everglades, which is the number one refrigerated cargo port in Florida. The port’s shippers serve over 150 ports in 70 countries worldwide. This makes Sumter County an ideal location for manufacturing and distribution. Sumter County round trip is about one workday away, making receiving and distributing products ideal. Sumter County is also located at the intersection of I-75, Florida Turnpike, US Hwy 301, SR 44, SR 48, and SR 5o, making distribution north or distribution to one of the five ports in a four-hour drive simple. Contact Sumter County Economic Development if you want to learn more.

Sumter County Economic Development Strategic Plan Update

The Sumter County Economic Development team is currently updating our strategic plan for 2023-2026. We are soliciting feedback from key partners and business leaders by asking for their participation in a virtual stakeholders meeting and survey. This information will be used to identify economic goals, strategies and an action plan for the next three year period. The economic development strategic plan serves to set priorities, focus energy and resources, strengthen operations and ensure that we are working with stakeholders toward common goals that benefit Sumter County. For more information or to register, please contact us.

Florida’s Temps are Warming up, and so is Watermelon Season

Florida is the primary source of watermelons in the United States. There are two main growing seasons March through July and October through December. According to a recent UF/IFAS report, Florida sold $161.5 Million worth of watermelons. In 2021, Florida grew about 1.02 billion pounds of watermelons, making up roughly 30% of the total yield of watermelons in the United States. The average yield for watermelons in Florida was 38,000 pounds in 2021

Florida Continues to Lead the Nation in New Income Migration

The most recent income migration figures from the Florida Chamber of Commerce show that Florida remains the number one state for income migration. Over the last year, Florida gained an estimated $39 billion in net income migration. This breaks down to about $4.5 million per hour. According to the Florida Chamber’s most recent data, this is an increase of about 65% over the previous year. This income migration will help push Florida to become a top 10 global economy by 2030, a Florida Blueprint mission, which also includes becoming the best state to work, live, and raise a family.

Florida Passes Affordable Housing “Live Local Act”

The “Live Local Act” was signed into law on March 29th, 2023. The Act, in part, provides 711 million to affordable housing programs, including 252 million for the longstanding State House Initiatives Partnership, 150 million annually to the State Apartment Incentive Loan, and 100 million for the Hometown Heroes program. This bill provides tax incentives for developers to build affordable housing and help increase the supply of affordable housing in Florida. Florida’s current population is estimated to be 22.7 million, and Florida’s population is projected to reach 26 million by 2030.

Foreign Direct Investment in the U.S. is on the Rise

Year-end foreign direct investment numbers for 2022 show a strong interest in expansion inside the United States. For many reasons, countries like Japan, Germany, and the United Kingdom are investing in the United States. The top reasons are business climate, efficient freight options, and solid transportation infrastructures. Transportation infrastructure is critical since the COVID pandemic shattered supply chains. Supply chains are still backed up across the globe, and companies are turning to the U.S. as the solution. Sumter County is a great distribution hub with many possibilities, like I-75, the Florida Turnpike, US 301, SR 44, and more, all running through Sumter County.

Florida Sees $7 Billion Revenue Bump

Despite market concerns, economists added more than $7 billion to the state’s general-revenue forecast for the current and future fiscal years. Tourism is a significant economic driver in Florida’s revenue bump, and Florida is experiencing record tourism numbers. Tourism projections were upped by $3.66 billion for the current year and $2.73 billion for the next fiscal year. The new forecasts have a mild recession built into the model, while the prior forecasts did not, yet Florida sees revenue gains.

Florida Tourism sees new Highs

An estimated 137 million people visited Florida last year according to the most recent numbers by Visit Florida. This is a 12.9% increase the number of visitors from 2021 and a 5% increase in the number of visitors from 2019, according to The Villages Daily Sun. In 2021, Florida visitors contributed $101.9 billion to Florida’s economy and supported over 1.7 million Florida Jobs, according to Visit Florida. Visit Florida also mentions, for every $1 the state invests in Visit Florida, $3.27 in state tax revenue is generated.