Clay County Business News

Find out the latest announcements and happenings around Clay County.

Florida Named No. 2 Best State for Business

Chief Executive - by Dale Buss - May 2, 2018 - Best and Worst States for Business in 2018 - Read full article here

The best place to do business in the United States is Texas, followed by No. 2 Florida and, in a tie, No. 3 North Carolina and South Carolina, according to Chief Executive’s 2018 “Best and Worst States for Business.”

The worst place is No. 50 California, bested only slightly by No. 49 New York, No. 48 Illinois, No. 47 New Jersey, No. 46 Connecticut and No. 45 Massachusetts.

Seem familiar? That’s because those are the exact same positions each of these states has occupied in each of the last four years in our annual poll of CEOs about business climates.

#2 Florida

8.38 out of 10 in Taxation and Regulation

7.11 out of 10 in Workforce Quality

8.16 out of 10 in Living Environment

Right to Work? 

Manufacturing Shines

Florida is home to more than 19,000 manufacturing businesses that employ more than 330,000 workers. Lockheed Martin currently has nearly 1,000 employees working on various projects along the “Space Coast” and has announced it will move more workers from California to Florida in 2018 and 2019. In the northwestern part of the state, Eastern Shipbuilding in Panama City recently announced the addition of 2,000 jobs to support a $10.5 billion contract to build more than two dozen U.S. Coast Guard cutters.

From the Governor

“While Florida is continuing to compete with other locations for new jobs, our newly established $85 million Florida Job Growth Grant Fund will help encourage even more job creators to invest in creating new opportunities across Florida.”—Gov. Rick Scott

Key Industries

Aviation/Aerospace, Cleantech, Corporate Headquarters, Financial & Professional Services, I.T., Lifesciences, Logistics/Distribution, Manufacturing

Key Companies

Jabil Circuit
NextEra Energy
Office Depot
World Fuel Services

Key Contacts

Clay Florida Economic Development Corp.

JJ Harris
1845 Town Center Blvd. Suite 110-B
Fleming Island, FL 32003
(904) 375-9394

Key Incentives

Quick Response Training (QRT): Offers reimbursable training expenses for instructor wages, curriculum development and materials for new or expanding businesses.

Capital Investment Tax Credit (CITC):Annual credit for up to 20 years against the corporate income tax to cover costs related to the acquisition, construction and equipping of a project with at least $25 million in capital costs that will create 100 jobs.

Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund (QTI):Offers refunds on corporate income, sales and other taxes for companies that create high-wage jobs in high-value industries.

Economic Development TransportationFund: Offers awards up to $3 million based on investment and jobs for companies to alleviate a transportation problem that might impact their expansion decision.

Highlighted Program or Initiative

STEMflorida supports Regional STEM Collaboratives (RSCs) across the state’s eight economic development regions, identifies key strategic priorities and fosters collaboration with regional partners and stakeholders.

Big Deals

  • HAECO Americas expanded in Lake City in July 2016 with 400 new
  • Eastern Shipbuilding Group in Panama City won a $10.5 billion contract in 2016 to build two dozen U.S. Coast Guard
  • Amazon announced plans in January 2017 to construct a second fulfillment center in Jacksonville, adding another 1,000 jobs to the 4,000 the company currently employs in the state.
  • KPMG announced in January 2017 its intent to build a state-of-the-art learning and innovation facility on a 55-acre campus in
  • In July 2017, Walmart opened a 2-million- square-foot fulfillment center in Davenport, part of a $450 million investment in Florida facilities.

Big Companies

17 Fortune 500 companies headquartered in state, including:
World Fuel Services
Tech Data
Office Depot
Hertz Global Holdings Darden Restaurants Ryder Systems
Raymond James Financial

C-Suite Testimonials

“This move gives us access to Florida’s strong talent pool and allows us to continue the strategic expansion of our business. Our company culture is at the core of our  business success, our client’s satisfaction and the happiness of our people. We are excited to bring those guiding principles to Tampa.” Rock Silvestri, President, BlueLine Associates


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About Our Mission

The Clay Florida Economic Development Corporation provides concierge service for companies who want to re-invest in expansion in the county or relocate their companies to the region.

Get in touch

  • Address: 1845 Town Center Blvd., Suite 110-B, Fleming Island, FL 32003

  • Phone: 904.375.9394

  • Email: