Sample Paper on Business & Economic Opportunities in South West Florida

Business and Economic Opportunities in Southwest Florida


Southwest Florida is situated in the Southwest Coastal gulf of Florida in the United States of America. Together with its component cities and towns, it has been in a long time perceived as the most elite locations for vacation residences for wealthy and high-profile citizens. It is regarded the destination of choice due to its endowment of natural beauty, pristine beaches, high-end shopping facility, fine restaurants and hotels, and all-season access to the waters of the Mexican gulf. Southwest Florida lies on approximately 6,023 square miles of land, roughly 11.2% of the entire United States. It inhabits a population of nearly 1.2 Million people (Census Report 2013), and an annual population Growth rate of 2.8% between the year 1990 and 2013. Hence, it is projected to grow to about 1.5 Million people by the year 2023. Of this population, 75% is below 65 years of age, and 53% in the typical working ages of between 20 and 65 years (Gilbert, 2014).

Southwest Florida is divided into six counties, namely Collier, Charlotte, Lee, Hendry, Sarasota and Glades; with an incorporation of sixteen municipalities. This study will incorporate outstanding issues from the six counties, main prioritized targets, existing plans, quantitative research, and stakeholders’ input gathered from previous studies. The identified issues and opportunities will serve as the model to match potential strategies for the region’s business and economic growth while instituting Strategic advantage throughout the process. The dichotomy between coastal and inland Southwest Florida and its political influence, power dynamics, and growth philosophies has affected numerous trends in the entire United States economy, its demographic profile, and competitive position for employment, investment, and aptitude.

This study of Economic opportunities is vital in the sense of providing evidence-based establishment of realistic investment plans. It is important for policy makers, investors, and the public to get clear information on the potentials of Southwest Florida, its resources, its opportunities, and weaknesses. Results of the study would play a key role in the establishment of basic critical adjustments in the of Southwest Florida’s Economic setup, thus, enhance accuracy of investment plans as well as resource distribution. It would also contribute to the development of processes and recommendations based on a solid foundation, including a review of best practices, lessons learnt, and the socio economic landscape, desires, and interests of Southwest Florida for prospective business and economic development goals (Solomon, 2005).

Business and Economic Background

Based on literature review and recent research findings, as the United States’ Economy continues to grow; Southwest Florida has exhibited continuous growth along with increasing seasonal activity. This is not only ascribed to its famous quality life advantages, but also to the benefits drawn from a vital Agricultural sector within Southwest Florida’s Economy. In view of its economic setup, Southwest Florida has numerous economic growth potential. However, Agriculture, Mining, Accommodation and food services are the only sectors with room for employment for the larger population aged 20- 44 years, while the remaining sectors are projected to have shortages (Nyce & Sylvester, 2005).

The business environment in the Southwest Florida is multifaceted with primary drivers being Touristy, Real estate, retail and monetary services, health, and agricultural productions. Natural beauty, arts and cultural resources, recreation amenities, shopping and food facility, public security, healthcare handiness, are the major positive properties in the economy and business of the area. This philanthropic capability of Southwest Florida and the enthusiasm of its residents to commit their resources to local issues is a strong quality identified contributing to conduciveness of the business and economic ecosystem of the country. About 70% of the county is preserved by local, state, federal, and private sources. A larger piece of the residual quantity of land is partitioned residential, leaving just an undistinguished proportion of the property for business, offices, and progressive uses. This renders Southwest Florida’s land a meager resource. (Murley, 2005).

The country’s economic arrangement is largely service driven with a relatively large percentage of the workforce, 7.7% of the entire employment, being self-employed workers who are predominately engaged in less paying business sectors. Southwest Florida’s unemployment rate is recorded above 5%, which generally reflects cynical unemployment and a slowdown to the economic development (Murley, 2005). Between the year 2007 and 2012, labor force participation rate declined from 61.7% to 57.0% despite the positive population growth rates. This is because a substantial part of the working age population is either self-employed or actively looking for employment but unemployed.

Individual incomes are major key players in every economy in the globe. It promotes significant portions of the region’s National Income. In Southwest Florida, most of the personal income is derived from wages and salaries, thus despite the rise in population and income levels, very low and low income households still represents a substantial portion of Southwest Florida’s population, possibly due to the inflationary pressure between the year 1970 – 2000. On the other hand, per capita income in the region enrolled steady increase between 1960 and 1999. In essence, very low and low-income earners are delineated as those living in households having incomes less than 80% of the region’s Average Income (U. S. Housing and Urban Development – Census data 1990), and they Constitute a large percentage of the workforce in the region. This individual income state has had adverse effects on the labor provision in the region (Gary, 2014).The workforce sustainability in the region, however, has been achieved through ensuring that the successive working-age population is large enough to eventually replace the antecedent retiring population. They are imparted with skills necessary to best serve the business community’s needs through a training spanning from infancy through careers (Gary, 2014).

Current Trends in Macroeconomic Perspective

Like every other emerging economy in the world, the future of the Southwest Florida’s economy is determined by various factors, some intrinsic to the economic sphere and some external. Investment policies and globalization of the economy are merged into the education system to provide a wider scope of technological involvement in the economic growth of Southwest Florida. Most trends in the macroeconomic perspective are still in the development stages, especially those of long term prospects. Among the key trends in the Southwest Florida Macroeconomic system is management of the manpower by ensuring that Management positions are undergoing qualitative transformations. Managers are progressively expected to be more qualified in a wide range of skills, more so, aware of the market trends and advancing technological developments. They are expected to have the capacity to exercise leadership and collect information outside the context of a bolt hierarchy (Marco, 2012).

From the onset of the recession recuperation around 2009, the central tendency rate of the region’s GDP has been on constant rise. The long run tendency of the real GDP ranges at 1.8-2.3% growth prospective with a central tendency of 2.0-2.3%. The 2nd quarter of the national actual GDP estimates for growth recorded a rising note of 4.6 % from 4.2% (Robinson & Ravi, 2004). The increase was principally impelled by increased personal consumption expenditures, private inventory investment, exports, state and local government spending, and investment. The actual Gross Domestic Product increment in the region was 2.6% for the 4th quarter 2013. As analysts resolve, this is a likely indication that Southwest Florida is seeing some recovery, but it is creeping at a slow pace and may stay that way for a few years yet (Murley, 2005).

Unemployment rates on the other hand have been on the decline with a projection of 5.2-5.7% in 2015, and a long run projection of further decline to 5.0-6.0%. This signifies potential of the region to create more jobs to accommodate a larger population as well as streamlined management and sustainability of the workforce. With more jobs and employment opportunities, the region has great capability of economic maturation. As per the Bureau of Labor, statistics showed that the non-farm payrolls, professional and business service industry employment rates, increased significantly through the months of August and September 2013 (Karson, 2013). These employment rate melioration indicators reflect the general health of this economy. However, most jobs projected for creation in the Southwest Florida’s economy are mainly on the low end, an indication of possible creation of more low income households.

The national Consumer price indicator shuffled up 2.0 % between 2013 and 2014. This has great impact on the increment in basic interest rates leading to attractiveness of the dollar. With the experienced inflation brought about by the great recession, the increase in the Consumer price index has enabled consumers to conform to the inflation and manage their budgets within a tight high cost of living comfortably (Karson, 2013).

The government through the establishment of the Board of County Commissioners is instituting fiscal and monetary policies in attempt of attaining economic stability. These Fiscal policies are connected to taxable sales, expenditures, monetary policy, financial markets and supply of credit, as well as other financial assets. The total taxable property declined to $58.8 bn in 2013 from the peak of $82.6 bn in 2008. This decline has placed a strain on the government’s ability to fund certain service, influencing a substantial portion of government expenditure rates, hence creating negative effects on the region’s economy. In 2014, seasonally-adjusted taxable sales shuffled up 12%, Seasonally-adjusted tourism taxations up 11% and transport service industry also up 4%. The taxable sales account for about 40% of durable products in the economy and 60% non durable goods constituting two-thirds of the national GDP (Marco, 2012).

Data and Methodology

The objective of this work is to study the Economic opportunities in Southwest Florida. Most economic indicators are the main aspects of study in establishing recommendations for improvement. In citation of literature as the main source of data, variables are collected and analyzed in line with their contribution in the economic situation of the region. Most of the data is retrieved from credible old and current records of various research reports and analyses for this Competitive Assessment. Estimable and reliable private, non-profit, local, state, and national government data sources were supplemented, with every effort made to match the units of comparability across sources. Thus, they provide the most precise and illuminating analysis of Southwest Florida’s demographic trends and economic structure. Majority of the reference records used indicate that the Quantitative analyses in this Competitive Assessment report were supplemented by comprehensive public input processes, which included multiple focus groups interventions, several one-on-one interviews with top regional leadership, and an online study available to all regional stakeholders.

The data was analyzed through qualitative time series data analysis system where sequence of numeral data is collected from various sources at regular intervals over a delimitated period of time. This data helps in providing clear pictures of rise and fall trends at specified periods hence provide better understanding of the actual situation in the economic setting (Frederick, 1989).


In this respect, from the data indicated on the major local economic indicators, it can be established that the general economic growth of the Southwest Florida State is on consistent gain of stability regardless of other detrimental factors as recession and inflation. Growth in the local average income, employment, Consumer Price Index, Consumer Confidence and population among other indicators portray growth prospective of the region giving encouraging forecasts for the future of business and economic growth of Southwest Florida (Robinson & Ravi, 2004).

With focus on the Region’s per capita income, it can be established that Southwest Florida has potential of further economic growth through job creations and increased personal income, which is a major player in the economic growth of every economy. This analysis was conducted on the regions Per Capita income between the year 1960 and 2000.

Table I. Per Capita Income
County 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000
Charlotte $1, 398 $3, 153 $9, 632 $14, 431 $24, 356
Collier $2,174 $4,710 $12,238 $21,386 $44,862
Glades $1,540 $2,823 $5,833 $10,719 $18,905
Hendry $2,838 $4,797 $10,240 $10,035 $24,858
Lee $1,705 $3,543 $10,119 $15,623 $27,861
Sarasota $2,218 $4,496 $12,362 $38,934 $18,441
Southwest Florida $1,979 $3,920 $10,071 $33,615 $15,106
Notes: The Per Capita values used by the American Bureau of Economic Analysis are all in Millions (000,000)

Source: United States Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis, website, accessed July 16, 2001.

The above table shows rapid increase in the six Counties of Southwest Florida as well as an overall growth in the region’s Per Capita incomes. It can therefore be concluded through the competitive assessment that the Southwest economic growth appears strong considering the percentage growth rates in the economic indicators. However, the life standards of the average citizens is not raised due to the high rate of creation of low paying jobs. Southwest Florida’s Economy has great potential with its high class amenities and tourism abilities, but there are also inherent structural and philosophical issues such as leadership and unconducive high-end job creation climate that threatens its growth potential, viability and oomph (Robinson & Ravi, 2004).


Southwest Florida’s endowment of natural beauty provide an extensive growth potential with tourists as well as investors moving into the region drawing entrepreneual opportunities into the region. The economy has diverse resource capabilities that provide room for development of the existing as well as new business adventures. Nonetheless, bringing additional business to the region and diversifying employment base is a key challenge on the economic development of the region tht woul require urgent interventions.


Based on the research determinations, Southwest Florida still requires numerous diversification in its economy. This can only be achieved through creation of professional jobs and improving on personal income through expansion of the existing infrastructure. Policy makers should stipulate measures that enhance minimal variance in most of the industries in the economy. Through the inter connection of job industries, the economy would present an equitable growth among every sectors in the economic setting (Robinson & Ravi, 2004).












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Gilbert, M. (2014). Measuring National Income. Journal of the American Statistical Association, 37 (218), 186–198.

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Nyce, S. A., & Sylvester, J. S. (2005). The Economic Implications of Aging Societies: The Costs of Living Happily Ever After. New York: Cambridge University Press.

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Karson, T. (2013). The Strategic Regional Policy Plan. Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council. 1(1), 267 – 309

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