Make us your home page
Instagram

Fewer Florida businesses mean fewer Florida jobs

If small businesses are the lifeblood of the Florida economy, maybe it's time for a transfusion.

After racking up impressive numbers of new businesses for most of the past 10 years, Florida start-ups fell off a cliff in 2009. The Sunshine State sustained a staggering net loss of 24,402 business formations in that year. In 2010, Florida also suffered a net loss, though less severe, of 2,194 business formations.

Bottom line? Florida had 26,596 fewer businesses in 2010 than it had in 2008.

That two-year net loss is historic, says Economic Modeling Specialists Inc., a data analysis firm.

"No state has seen that big of a cumulative drop in the last decade," says EMSI spokesman Joshua Wright.

Nor has any other state come even close to the single-year, 24,000-plus businesses lost by Florida in 2009. The closest is Arizona, which lost 12,717 businesses in that same year.

In Florida, the vast bulk of businesses to evaporate in that era were small construction firms. Nearly 17,000 went away between 2008 and 2010. Also going away were 4,230 finance and insurance businesses, 3,981 real estate businesses and 1,763 firms in the wholesale trade, EMSI said.

A few industries managed to add a modest number of businesses between 2008 and 2010. They are health care (up 2,136), hotels and restaurants (up 931) and retail (up 881).

Such bleak numbers are not meant to pile on to Florida's misery. In the go-go years up to 2008, 25,000 new business formations a year were routine, and Florida ranked at or near the top in new business creation. Then came the remarkable crash of 2009.

The sharp reversal of new business formations means it's going to be even tougher to generate much momentum for new jobs in Florida. This state has few Fortune 500 company headquarters. Even if it did, those companies are not hiring much these days. Most big corporations are hoarding cash and waiting for consumers to start spending again.

Florida's statewide unemployment rate remained stuck at 10.7 percent in July, the same as June, well above the nation's 9.1 percent jobless rate. Tampa Bay's metro-wide unemployment rate stands two percentage points higher at 11.1 percent.

EMSI tracks and ranks business formations in every state and the District of Columbia. Not surprisingly, Florida ranked dead last at No. 51 in 2009 (including the District of Columbia).

In 2010, Florida's rank improved to No. 43, beating out a handful of hard-hit states including Michigan, which finished last with a net loss of 5,480 businesses. To put Florida's woes in perspective, that same year 21 states and Washington, D.C., actually reported a net gain in new businesses.

Some economy watchers say this is the time when more people are inclined to start new businesses. Why? Well, more people have lost jobs, need to do something or feel this is the best time to give their business dreams a shot. Also, costs now are lower to start a business and hire people.

There is no question that the Tampa Bay area is abuzz these days with entrepreneurial talk and a growing number of programs available to help new businesses get started and sustain themselves.

A new report issued last week by Florida TaxWatch predicts that Florida will add 150,000 jobs from June 2011 to June 2012. That's a 2 percent growth rate, but it's half the pace of job creation Florida experienced in the third year after the recessions of 1990-91 and 2001.

There's progress. But Florida's days back in the sun are still a ways off.

Robert Trigaux can be reached at trigaux@sptimes.com.

Fewer Florida businesses mean fewer Florida jobs 08/29/11 [Last modified: Monday, August 29, 2011 10:50pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa International Airport morphing into a mini-city unto itself

    Airlines

    TAMPA — By the end of the 2026, Joe Lopano wants Tampa International Airport to function as its own little city.

    Artist rendering of phase two of the $1 billion construction expansion of Tampa International Airport. The airport is transforming 17 acres of airport property that will include at least one hotel, retail and office space and a gas station, among other things.
[Courtesy of Tampa International Airport]
  2. Lost Highway: As FHP struggles to recruit, speeding tickets plummet

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — The number of speeding tickets written by Florida state troopers has plunged three straight years as the agency grapples with a personnel shortage and high turnover.

    State data shows FHP troopers are not writing violations for speeding or other infractions like they did back in 2011, even though there's 1 million more licensed drivers in Florida.
  3. Kidpreneurs — and adults — capitalize on gooey, squishy Slime craze

    Retail

    Aletheia Venator and Berlyn Perdomo demonstrate the stretchiness of their slime. - Berlyn Perdomo and her friend, Aletheia Venator, both 13, make and sell slime which can be seen on their instagram site @the.real.slimeshadyy [JIM DAMASKE   |   Times]
  4. The last farmer of Florida's prized Zellwood corn is thinking of packing it in

    Consumer

    MOUNT DORA — Hank Scott steps out of his pickup between the long rows and snaps off an ear that grows about bellybutton-high on the forehead-high stalks.

    Hank Scott, co-owner of Long and Scott Farms, shucks an ear of corn on the farm in Mount Dora, Fla., on Wednesday, May 10, 2017. The farm specializes in Scott's Zellwood Triple-Sweet Gourmet Corn. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  5. Law firm's Russia ties prove nothing about Trump

    Business

    The statement

    "Law firm @POTUS used to show he has no ties to Russia was named Russia Law Firm of the Year for their extensive ties to Russia. Unreal."

    Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., stands during a media availability on Capitol Hill, Monday, June 20, 2016 in Washington. A divided Senate blocked rival election-year plans to curb guns on Monday, eight days after the horror of Orlando's mass shooting intensified pressure on lawmakers to act but knotted them in gridlock anyway — even over restricting firearms for terrorists. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)