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Getting Down to Business

The business climate in Boca is as good as the tropical weather

 Source: Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce, BOCA RATON ANNUAL 2001-2002

The Boca Raton business community is thriving - and the Greater Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce is at the heart of it. Boca Raton’s diverse business commu­nity is comprised of technology-based firms and major employers. But it also represents small businesses—in fact, nearly 85 percent of the Chamber membership is comprised of small businesses.

  “The Chamber works diligently to provide services, resources and support to the business community,” says M.J. “Mike” Arts, president of the Greater Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce. “Throughout the years, the Chamber has helped attract top­notch business leaders and supported pro-active community officials to preserve Boca Raton’s exceptional quality of life.”

 The emerging business community enhances the entire area, creating new jobs every day. Boca Raton’s unemployment rate is at an unbelievably low 2.8 percent. The city and surrounding area offers a highly competitive and well-educated work force and is dedicated to intelligent growth planning.

  “Business activity remains strong in Boca Raton,” says J.C. Perrin, chairman of the Greater Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce. “Corporations, entrepreneurs, residents and consumers con­tinue to appreciate the many amenities, quality of life and progressive business attitude that Boca provides. Investments and expenditures in this market continue to stimulate our economic prosperity.”

  The Chamber is well known for its leadership in promoting economic development in the Boca Raton area through its work with the Palm Beach County Business Development Board, the Small Business Development Center, Enterprise Development Corp. and the many cor­porations in the area.

  The Business Development Board (BDB) is a private, nonprofit corpo­ration created by the state to be Palm Beach County’s official economic development organization. Its primary purpose is to attract and retain business investments and quality jobs in Palm Beach County through corporate relocation, expansions and international trade.

  Operating a business in Boca Raton has new and constantly growing benefits. Companies have the opportunity to apply for grants offered by the county business development board for up to $2,000 for each full-time job created. (For more information, call the board at 561/835-1008.)

OFFICE SPACE

Boca Raton continues to be one of South Florida’s hottest office markets. With more than 9 million square feet of rentable space in the area, and a vacancy rate that is under 9 percent, strong demand continues to spur new construction and renovation of existing buildings. Tenants have a wide variety of choices in their office accommodations, ranging from value-priced research and development parks, up to the most luxurious class “A” office towers.  

Boca Raton has seen significant growth in its burgeoning downtown, as financial institutions, attorneys, accountants and other profession­al firms flock to the area. Currently, at least 300,000 square feet of new space is either planned or under construction along the Palmetto Park Road and Federal Highway corridors. Mizner Park, the Boca Raton Museum of Art and Royal Palm Plaza are among the many amenities that make downtown Boca attractive to employers and employees alike.

  Boca Raton is also home to many corporate and regional headquarters.

  “Quality of life, an educated workforce, superior infrastructure, proxim­ity to two major international airports, and a great year-round climate are what make Boca Raton a premier office destination in South Florida,” says Richard Brockney, an associate with Penn-Florida Realty.  

LABOR

 The annual average unemployment rate as of January 2001 was 2.8 per­cent in Boca Raton, 4.4 percent in Palm Beach County and 3.6 percent in Florida. The median annual household income in Boca Raton is $65,000. (To contact Florida’s Unemployment Department, call 850/921-3475.)

The Florida Department of Labor and Employment Security has information and programs regarding all aspects of labor issues. Its jobs and benefit centers are the largest single source for qualified job seekers in the state.  For information on its programs, please call 561/616-5200.

TAX ADVANTAGES

  Florida is one of the few states in the country that doesn’t tax personal income. The tax rate for Chapter C corporations (regular corporations) is 5.5 percent. The first $5,000 of taxable income apportioned to Florida is exempt.

Further:

There is no corporate income tax for Chapter S corporations.  

There is no corporate income tax for partnerships.

There is no corporate franchise tax on capital stock.

There is no property tax on business inventories or vehicles.

The state has one of the nation’s lowest corporate income tax rates. Retail sales tax is 6 percent in Palm Beach County and the intangible tax (the tax on the value of stocks, bonds, accounts receivable and taxable securities) is lower than in most states and is currently being phased out. Incentives for businesses relocating to the county’s enterprise zones include credits toward state corporate income tax and sales tax refunds for new equipment  and building materials.

FINANCIAL SERVICES

  Financial affairs are a key component of life in Boca Raton. With a large concentration of affluent retirees, well-paid corporate execu­tives, abundant successful businesses, small business practitioners and eager-to-spend tourists, money and investments are their own industry. If you need more information regarding the Boca business climate, call the Chamber at 561/395-4433 or visit the Web site at www.bocaratonchamber.com.  

  

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