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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 releases Executive Business Climate Survey Lee County business climate falls slightly in recent survey of Lee County business execs

FORT MYERS, Fla. --Following two consecutive quarters of increases, the Executive Business Climate Index for Lee County fell one point to 67, according to a report released today by the Horizon Council and Florida Gulf Coast University's Regional Economic Research Institute.

The two quarters of consecutive increases followed three quarters of decline.

"The business climate seems to have leveled off somewhat compared to the post-election optimism we observed in the fall and winter," said FGCU economist Christopher Westley. "The index is four points higher than this time a year ago. I am detecting optimism but also caution regarding where we stand now eight years into the recovery and how much longer it can last"

The index results from calculations made to survey responses of Lee County business executives and is measured on a scale of 0 to 100.

The remainder of the survey queried executives about their concerns regarding identity theft. In answering the question, How concerned are you with identity theft, 39 percent of executives said they were very concerned, and 56 percent said they were somewhat concerned. Eighty-seven percent of respondents indicated support for the creation of an identity theft hotline for our region to aid victims in the restoration of their identities.

Twenty-seven percent of respondents indicated they have themselves been victims of identity theft and of these, 58 percent found the restoration process to be either moderate or difficult. Forty-three percent of respondents believe that Lee County has the same level of risk of identity theft as the rest of the country. However, the 2016 Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book ranks Cape Coral-Ft. Myers as the 19th largest metropolitan area for reported identity theft complaints nationwide.

"These results confirm many of our findings about a false sense of security people develop regarding identity theft," Carrie Kerskie, director of the Identity Theft Institute at Hodges University, said. For instance, victims of credit card fraud often find it only takes a phone call to fix the problem. [But] just wait until someone uses their social security number. That's when they will become very concerned about the threat. Ignoring the threat significantly increases your risk of becoming the next victim."

The full report will be made available Friday on FGCU's Regional Economic Research Institute website after 10 am.

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