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Florida has the country's second-best business climate behind its arch-nemesis

Gov. Rick Scott, shown in Tampa earlier this month talking about job creation, has long had a rivalry with Texas over which state has the better business climate. Texas is still No. 1, a new survey maintains.
[MALENA CAROLLO | Times file photo]

Published Sep. 19, 2017

Florida ranks as having the second-best business climate in the country, still nipping at the heels of perennial No. 1 Texas.

Conducted by Development Counsellors International (DCI) every three years, the survey has tracked economic development trends since its inception in 1996. The latest breakdown was released Monday at the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) Annual Conference in Toronto.

Rounding out the top five were Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina, respectively.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Governor Scott still messing with Texas and Rick Perry

Texas had held on to the top spot since 1999. For years. Florida Gov. Rick Scott has jokingly jabbed at a rivalry with fellow Republican-controlled Texas as an arch-rival, pointing out whenever the Sunshine State boasted superiority in job creation or luring companies here.

Florida took second place with 22 percent of the respondents naming it as the state with having the most favorable business climate. In 2014, Florida bumped North Carolina out of the No. 2 spot. According to the survey, respondents keen on Florida's favorable business climate mentioned the state's pro-business environment, favorable tax climate and its strategic location.

This year, for the first time, the survey also includes findings about how the current political climate affects business perceptions. A majority of executives surveyed, 57 percent, reported that the Trump presidency hasn't impacted their investment plans and 33 percent said they were more likely to explore domestic expansion.

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