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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 Second Quarter 2014 Lee County Business Climate Survey Report

FORT MYERS, Fla. - The results from the Second Quarter 2014 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 574 business executives in Lee County and the results are based on responses from 78 executives resulting in a 14 percent response rate.

This survey provides a key economic indicator for Lee County, the Executive Business Climate Index. 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 second quarter of 2014 are:
     The Lee County Business Climate Index was 74 for the second quarter survey (April 2014), which is a the same as the 74 reported in the first quarter (January 2014);
     82 percent of executives stated that the current economic conditions have improved over last year;
     79 percent of the executives expect the economy to improve over the next year;
     74 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;
     73 percent of executives expect economic conditions for their industry to improve over the next year;
     63 percent of executives had increased employment over the last year, while 4 percent had reduced employment;
     54 percent of executives expect to increase employment at their companies during the next year and only 1 percent of executives expect to reduce employment;
     62 percent of companies expect to increase investment next year and only 5 percent expect to reduce their investment levels;
     46 percent of executives have seen their cost of doing business increase 2 to 5 percent over the last year;
     38 percent of executives expect that their cost of doing business will increase between 0 and 2 percent over the next year in the range of current national inflation; 35 percent expect costs to increase faster at 2 to 5 percent, and 14 percent expect costs to rise faster, between 5 and 10 percent. Only 12 percent expect costs to not change.
     The top challenges that business executives expect to face over the next year include finding qualified employees, rising health insurance costs, government regulation, increasing fuel costs, competition, and the political climate;
     Executives recommend the following infrastructure improvements: road and traffic improvements, communication infrastructure, better technology education including technical/manufacturing programs for high schools, school construction, better public transportation, and wastewater and water initiatives.

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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