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My Florida C F O
Weekly eNewsletter from Florida's Chief Financial Officer

Dear Fellow Floridian:

Whether it’s the first person in a family’s history to own a home, a first home for a young couple, a larger home for a growing family or a home someone has chosen for his or her remaining years, for most Floridians, their homes are their greatest assets. People measure their homes not just by market value, but by those who fill the space among their four walls. This makes it tremendously difficult to accept when the marketplace devalues your home, as has happened in the past few years. Although Florida has had some difficult economic times, especially in the housing market, so far this year’s indications have been slowly trending in the right direction.

A new housing index from Florida Realtors® shows the housing market took a severeFlorida Realtors decline earlier than was originally cited by economists. According to the new index, Florida sales prices fell 44 percent from their peak in 2006 to their low point in mid-2009. This means that the housing market market bottomed and began recovering sooner than we thought, albeit tumultuously. Home sales have continued to grow through 2012, with sales up nearly 11 percent over the past year.

Florida’s housing market is beginning to slowly rebound, with prices stabilizing and inventory declining. Although this is encouraging news, our housing market is not yet fully recovered.

Jeff Atwater
Jeff Atwater
Chief Financial Officer
State of Florida

South Florida Small Business Innovators

This week, CFO Atwater visited several small businesses across South Florida and was inspired by the hard work and innovation as he received behind-the-scenes tours of Hollywood Woodwork, Made in the USA Certified and Ibiley Manufacturing Corporation—CFO Atwater tours Hollywood Woodworkbusinesses that embody innovation and dedication.

Hollywood Woodwork is a South Florida-based business with more than 150 craftsmen, management and support personnel who specialize in custom woodwork for use throughout the United States and Caribbean.

Made in the USA Certified is an independent, third-party certification company that validates companies’ claims that their products or services are indeed made in the United States of America. Their seal of approval says the company has committed to American jobs and the American economy and guarantees that consumers are indeed buying American.CFO Atwater viewing military armor at Ibiley

Ibiley Manufacturing Corporation, a family-owned Miami business that manufactures military armor and outer wear, currently employs 211 Floridians and has become one of the most successful body armor outer shell subcontractors in the United States. Ibis Valdes, the original founder of Ibiley Manufacturing, immigrated to the U.S. from Cuba in 1969 and began working in local sewing factories upon her arrival. She and her husband Efrain opened their own factory in 1975 and eventually moved towards manufacturing military outer wear in 2001.

Florida is fortunate to have innovative businesses like these headquartered in the state.

News of Interest

Tampa Bay Times: Florida consumer confidence zooms to five-year high

Palm Beach Post: Home prices, confidence, incomes all rise in Florida and nationally

Sun-Sentinel: Crackdown leads to 2 arrests

Reuters: Florida wants NASA land to develop commercial spaceport

Tallahassee Democrat: Entrepreneurial spirit grows at FSU

Wall Street Journal: 140 characters of risk: some CEOs fear Twitter

Business Report: An entrepreneur at any age

Florida's Bottom LineFlorida's Bottom Line

This issue of Florida’s Bottom Line focuses on Florida’s small business community and how to provide a stable economic environment so that we can continue to help businesses flourish and expand.

The companion website features business news updates and Florida By the Numbers, a collection of key statistics illustrating important changes in Florida’s economy over the past month. The latest data is shown on topics such as consumer confidence, unemployment rate, new foreclosure activity and Florida's leading, stock and retail index graphs. Updates are made as new statistics become available.