Dear Fellow Floridian:
Today is National Entrepreneurs’ Day, which makes it an ideal time to reflect
and thank those creative and hard-working entrepreneurs who commit themselves
every day to supporting our families, friends and communities. Entrepreneurial
success plays an instrumental role in creating a vibrant and diverse economy,
and we must continue our support and recognition of the efforts made to build
successful communities across our state and our nation.
have long exemplified the spirit of the American dream. Our forefathers’
greatest gift to us was the freedom to pursue the entrepreneurial spirit that
has inspired countless men and women to reach higher and aim bigger. Their
sparks of creativity and willingness to risk it all in the pursuit of success
has helped improve the lives of all of us not only through the jobs they create,
but also through the greater efficiencies and cost savings they allow.
Small businesses, in particular, are the cornerstone of our economy, which is
why I believe it is so important to work closely with their owners and continue
taking steps to maintain our status as a very business friendly state. This
week, I released the results of a small business survey intended to help better
understand the needs of our small businesses.
The results of our survey were very encouraging. We found that 87 percent of
the small business owners surveyed intend to grow their Florida business in the
next 12 months. This news is great for Florida because it means we have a
created an environment where businesses can succeed and lead our future growth
I encourage all Floridians to celebrate entrepreneurs not only during today’s
celebration, but all year long by supporting the businesses whose hard work and
long hours have enhanced our state’s diverse communities. As the 2013 Small
Business Survey reveals, the future is bright for our state’s small businesses
thanks to the support of people like you.
Chief Financial Officer
State of Florida
Growth Outlook Bright for Small Businesses
This week, Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater released the Florida
Department of Financial Services’
2013 Small Business Survey, which reveals a positive
outlook for Florida’s small businesses. The results revealed that 87 percent
of the 1,093 small business employers surveyed plan to grow their business
during the next 12 months. Among these owners planning to grow, 30 percent
plan to hire new employees, 27 percent plan to make new expenditures and 19
percent plan to expand their product lines.
The 2013 Small Business Survey found evidence of an economic recovery taking
place in Florida because owners reported both an increase in sales and in their
capital expenditures over the past 12 months – two leading indicators for
scalable growth and future hiring. A lack of access to capital, however, remains
a concern for small businesses.
Survey results showed that more small businesses appear to be interested in
alternative financing as a means to fund their growth and expansion. Nineteen
percent of respondents regularly use alternative forms of capital to finance
their small business and 44 percent of respondents indicated they would like to
use alternative sources of financing in the future.
Among the respondents who had no plans to expand their small business over
the next year (13%), the most frequently cited reasons for not doing so were
economic uncertainty, lack of sales, lack of available financing, requirements
of the federal health care law (PPACA) and regulations at all levels of
A survey form was developed by the Florida Department of Financial Services
for the 2013 Small Business Survey with the purpose of identifying economic
trends and emerging issues affecting small businesses in Florida. The survey was
sent electronically to a sample of small business owners in Florida between
August 20, 2013, and September 6, 2013. Survey participants were limited to
small business employers headquartered in Florida with less than 500 employees.
The use of email solicitation was the primary method for acquiring responses,
which were collected through a web-based survey platform. The survey was
distributed in partnership with the Florida Small Business Development Center
Network and the Florida Chamber Foundation.
To read the complete 2013 Small Business Survey,
CFO Atwater and the Florida Cabinet Recognize Accomplishments of
Detective Dwight Murphy
This week, CFO Jeff Atwater and the Florida Cabinet recognized the
accomplishments Detective Dwight Murphy and his exceptional efforts to protect
Floridians. Detective Murphy was recently named the Florida Insurance Fraud
Education Committee’s 2013 Law Enforcement Detective of the Year.
During his tenure with the Department of Financial Services, Detective Murphy
has served as lead investigator during several of the department’s most
successful missions, including a 2009 investigation into a high dollar Ponzi
scheme that swindled investors out of their retirement accounts. Thanks to
Detective Murphy’s hard work, the suspect was indicted in federal court on 14
counts of wire and mail fraud and received a 30-year prison sentence.
Additionally, in 2010, a case led by Detective Murphy resulted in a 30-year
prison sentence for a Jacksonville man who reused syringes and knowingly
infecting patients with Hepatitis C.
For these and many other outstanding achievements, Detective Murphy has
received several awards and honors during his career including the 2012 Florida
Law Enforcement Officer of the Year, 2013 International Association of Special
Investigation Units’ Public Service Award, and in April of this year, Detective
Murphy was presented the prestigious Officer of the Year award by U.S. Attorney
Florida Announces $4 Million Multi-State, Multi-Agency Life Claim Settlement
Agreement with Aviva
This week, a $4 million life claim settlement agreement was reached with two
companies (Aviva Life & Annuity Company and Aviva Life & Annuity Company of New
York) who are collectively referred to as “Aviva.”
The settlement agreement with Aviva and other similar insurers focuses
primarily on the asymmetrical use of the Social Security Administration’s Death
Master File (DMF) to cease making annuity payments, but not to search for
beneficiaries of a life insurance policy who may be due benefits. Aviva has
agreed to implement business reforms correcting this practice and to make a
multi-million dollar payment, which will be disbursed among the participating
states. Florida’s allocation of the $4 million payment is expected to be over
The multi-state examination was conducted by Florida, California, Illinois
(managing lead state), Iowa, New Hampshire, North Dakota and Pennsylvania. Along
with these states, the agreement includes the Florida Department of Financial
Services (DFS), the Office of the Attorney General (AG), and the Office of
Insurance Regulation (Office).
“This settlement is another great win for Floridians who have been subjected
to deceitful business practices and deserve to be compensated,” said CFO Jeff
Atwater. “Aviva and other businesses who have failed to pay the rightful
benefits to Floridians must be held accountable.”
Established in 2011, the multistate examination process is guided and
coordinated by the NAIC Life/Annuities Claim Settlement Practices Task Force,
which is chaired by Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty. For more
information about this issue, visit the Office of Insurance Regulation’s
Life Claims Settlement Practices website. To search or submit a
request for unclaimed property, visit
or call 1-88-VALUABLE or (850) 413-3089.
Florida Economic Briefs
Florida’s Unemployment Rate drops to 6.7% in October
Florida’s unemployment rate continued to drop last month, down to 6.7% in
October with 182,200 jobs created over the year. The U.S. unemployment rate
remained stagnant at 7.3% in October.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Florida housing market improves in October
Florida’s housing market remained positive in October with both sales
and prices growing over the year. In October, the
sales price of a single-family home in Florida was $169,000, 17% higher compared
to the same time last year when the median sales prices was $145,000 in October
Source: Florida Realtors
Inside the latest issue of
Florida's Bottom Line, you’ll find expert
commentary on Florida’s efforts to create and lead the next generation of
innovation in the aerospace and aviation industry. It will be the continued
commitment and creativity of Floridians who will make our state a global
leader for innovation and economic prosperity in the 21st century.
Florida's Bottom Line
should help equip you with the resources to be a part of this mission.