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Office of Vice President and
Chief of Staff
Florida Gulf Coast University
10501 FGCU Blvd S.
Fort Myers, FL. 33965-6565

Phone: (239) 590-1006
Fax:     (239) 590-1066

Press Release


Horizon Council and FGCU Release Third Quarter 2013 Lee County Business Climate Survey Report

FORT MYERS, Fla. - The results from the Third Quarter 2013 Horizon Council FGCU Lee County Executive Business Climate Survey have been released. This survey will be completed each quarter and provide insights into the Lee County economy and expected economic trends. The online survey was sent to 599 business executives in Lee County and the results are based on responses from 107 executives resulting in an 18 percent response rate.

The survey provides a key economic indicator for Lee County, the Executive Business Climate Index. The third quarter survey (August 2013) value for the Lee County Executive Business Climate Index is 69, which indicates continued improvement in the local economy. The executives' optimism has decreased slightly from the last survey in April 2013 where the index was 71. The index value can range from 0 to 100. An index number of 50 would be neutral or an expectation of no change in economic activity. Therefore, this quarter's index says that economic activity in Lee County is expected to improve but slightly less than a moderate growth pace. The index is computed using two questions concerning the current and future economic conditions and a third question about the expected industry economic conditions. The index is an average of the responses with substantially better equal to 100, moderately better equal to 75, same equal to 50, moderately worse equal to 25 and substantially worse equal to zero.

The key findings of the Executive Climate Survey for the third quarter of 2013 are:

     The Lee County Business Climate Index was 69 for the third quarter survey (August 2013), down from 71 for the second quarter survey (April 2013);
     73 percent of executives stated that the current economic conditions have improved over the last year;
     63 percent of the executives expect the economy to improve over the next year;
     67 percent of the executives stated that the current economic conditions for their industry have improved over last year, but 26 percent stated that economic conditions remained approximately the same;
     69 percent of executives expect economic conditions for their industry to improve over the next year;
     50 percent of executives had increased employment over the last year, while 6 percent had reduced employment;
     54 percent of executives expect to increase employment at their companies during the next year and only 2 percent of executives expect to reduce employment;
     59 percent of companies expect to increase investment next year and only 3 percent expect to reduce their investment levels;
     The top three types of training most useful to existing employees are problem solving, verbal communication skills, and written communication skills;
     Some other types of training that executives suggested were continuing education, sales skills, and basic business skills.
     Executives indicated a preference for onsite and online training methods for existing employees.
     Executive advice to students entering high school included:
     Concentrate on the basics
     Differentiate yourself
     Choose a career that interests you
     Gain real-world experience
     Develop a strong work ethic
     Be open to career options
     The geographic client market had 30 percent of firms serving international markets and 33 percent serving the U.S. market.

About Florida Gulf Coast University

Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) is dedicated to providing a student-centered learning environment that offers the highest quality educational opportunities for the development of the knowledge, insights, competencies, and skills necessary for success in life and work. Call us at 1-800-590-3428 or visit our website at

About Fort Myers Regional Partnership

The Fort Myers Regional Partnership works to attract new and diversified businesses resulting in high-wage, high-skilled jobs; retains and encourages the expansion of existing businesses and improves the overall business environment.

The Partnership continues to promote and build the region through ongoing efforts from its proactive team of domestic and international recruiters, research staff and community liaisons, as well as through its partnerships with the Horizon Foundation, the Horizon Council and the Lee County Industrial Development Authority.

For more information, visit

For further information, media representatives should contact Gary Jackson, Director, Regional Economic Research Institute at (239) 590-7319.

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