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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 Fourth Quarter 2013 Lee County Business Climate Survey Report

FORT MYERS, Fla. - The results from the Fourth Quarter 2013 Horizon Council FGCU Lee County Executive Business Climate Survey have been released. This survey is completed each quarter and provides insight into the Lee County economy and expected economic trends. The online survey was sent to 592 business executives in Lee County and the results are based on responses from 84 executives resulting in a 14 percent response rate.

This survey provides a key economic indicator for Lee County, the Executive Business Climate Index. The fourth quarter survey (end of October 2013) value for the climate index was 71.3 up from 69.1 in the third quarter. This index value is computed each quarter and released to the public as a way to provide an established economic indicator on the state of the local economy. The index is computed using the two questions concerning the current and future economic conditions and a third question concerning 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 index value can range from 0 to 100.

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

     The Lee County Business Climate Index was 71.3 for the fourth quarter survey (end of October 2013) up from 69.1 for the third quarter survey (end of July 2013);

     79 percent of executives stated that the current economic conditions have improved over last year;

     77 percent of the executives expect the economy to improve over the next year;

     64 percent of the executives stated that the current economic conditions for their industry have improved over last year but 28 percent stated that economic conditions remained approximately the same;

     75 percent of executives expect economic conditions for their industry to improve over the next year;

     45 percent of executives had increased employment over the last year, while 9 percent had reduced employment;

     51 percent of executives expect to increase employment at their companies during the next year and only 4 percent of executives expect to reduce employment;

     52 percent of companies expect to increase investment next year and only 2 percent expect to reduce their investment levels;

     39 percent of executives surveyed indicated reduced productivity resulting from health issues lowered profitability of their business over the past 12 months.

     40 percent of executive surveyed cited their primary reason for not offering a wellness program was due to a lack of personnel to develop and/or oversee such a program.

     58 percent of executives stated the single most important goal of a wellness program at their company would be to improve the health of their employees.

     The geographic client market had 24 percent of firms serving international markets and 26 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, FGCU Regional Economic Research Institute at (239) 590-7319.

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