No. 11: Florida (No. 1 in 2019)
Number of CRN Solution Provider 500 Companies: 12
COVID-19 Business Impact Rank: 41
While Florida wasn’t among the early states hit hard by the pandemic, its economy – heavily dependent on tourists from elsewhere – took a hit nevertheless. Florida’s net job loss February to July 2020 was 6.7 percent of the workforce (No. 20) with the unemployment rate standing at 10.4 percent (No. 32) in July. The state’s GDP declined 4.9 percent in the first quarter of 2020 (No. 24).
The Sunshine State, which has held the overall No. 1 spot in the Best States survey for several years, fell to No. 11 this year with lower rankings in many criteria. Florida declined to No. 29 in labor and operating expenses with its slower rate of job growth, for example, and to No. 18 in workforce education with its low rankings for available workers with engineering, science and advanced STEM degrees.
Florida does remain No. 1 in taxes and regulations for its low tax burden including no individual income tax, a low 4.458 percent corporate income tax and middle-of-the-road sales tax (7.05 percent).
Florida is also No. 5 in business climate/competitive environment with its large state GDP and number of new businesses (No. 2) and number of small businesses (No. 3).