Boca Means Business
Boca Raton is home to the second-largest number of corporate headquarters in South Florida, accounting for thousands of jobs that foster economic growth and ensure a vibrant future for our city. Forbes continues to praise Boca Raton for its attractiveness to businesses. Moreover, WalletHub evaluated 1,261 U.S. cities with populations under 100,000 and ranked Boca 14th on its 2019 list of Best Small Cities to Start a Business, a dramatic one-year ascent from 28th. In 2018, WalletHub also rated Boca the sixth-best Florida city for finding a job.
What’s the secret? Significantly, “Access to Resources” accounted for 25 percent of the weight in WalletHub’s 2019 startup findings, and in this aggregation of key metrics Boca ranked sixth. Those metrics were loan availability, investor access, workforce availability, quality of higher education, the percentage of population 25 and older with a bachelor’s degree, population growth in the 16 to 64 group, and a four-year tracking of job growth. Boca checks all the boxes.
Creating a strong economy from Boynton Beach to Boca Raton is the number one priority for The Greater Boca Chamber of Commerce.
“The strength of South Palm Beach County’s economy continues to grow and thrive because of our unmatched quality of life, our exceptional education and our business environment,” says Troy M. McLellan, CCE, president and CEO of the Greater Boca Chamber. “The Chamber’s pro-business advocacy efforts, coupled with our outstanding educational opportunities and many networking events, provides the nearly 80 percent of our membership, the small businesses, with the best possible environment in which to grow.”
The other 20 percent of local and area business membership consists of large-scale employers and Fortune 500 companies that provide additional economic opportunities for area residents. The nature of Boca Raton’s dynamic corporate culture results in an elevated level of economic and community development.
Boca Raton is midway between West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale, with easy access to airports, train stations, bus stations and seaports. The area also provides easy access to two duty-free zones and the two busiest container ports in the state, including the Foreign Trade Zones at Palm Beach International Airport and the Port of Miami. The freight lines of Florida East Coast and CSX Railways run through the area, complemented by Amtrak and Tri-Rail passenger services. Additionally, Boca will become a new stop on the Virgin Trains high-speed line from West Palm Beach (and ultimately from Orlando) to Miami.
Boca Raton’s airport serves the recreational and business aviation needs of the community, averaging more than 60,000 operations annually with a runway of 6,276 feet (by 150 feet) and a full-length parallel taxiway. An FAA Contract Tower on the field is staffed by a team of highly trained air traffic controllers, and two full-service Fixed Based Operators (FBOs) offer fueling, ground handling, aircraft storage, conference rooms, catering and limousine service.
In 2017, the Boca Raton Airport Authority completed its U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility. Airport Executive Director Clara Bennett said at the time, “Throughout its history, the airport has served as a catalyst for economic growth, playing a pivotal role in the development of Boca Raton as a major hub for corporate headquarters and international commerce. Beyond the economic impact, the new facility will ultimately be about connecting the Boca Raton Airport to the rest of the world.”
Florida is one of few states with no personal state income tax, a contributing factor to business relocations and population growth. The income tax rate for a Chapter C corporation (regular corporation) is 5.5 percent. The first $5,000 of taxable income apportioned to Florida is exempt. There is no corporate income tax for Chapter S corporations or partnerships and no corporate franchise tax on capital stock. There also is no property tax on business inventories or vehicles.
In fact, the state has one of the nation’s lowest corporate income tax rates. Retail sales tax is 6 percent in Palm Beach County, and there is no longer an intangible tax (the tax on the value of stocks, bonds, accounts receivable and taxable securities).
Incentives for businesses locating in the county’s enterprise zones include credits toward state corporate income tax and sales tax refunds for new equipment and building materials.
Boca Raton’s strong financial services sector reflects its large concentration of affluent retirees, well-paid corporate executives, successful small businesses and a tourist economy that’s on the rise. Additionally, successful businessmen and businesswomen with money for investments are an industry unto themselves. The perfect combination of top-level corporate executives, wealthy retirees and a booming tourism industry gives Boca Raton a continued infusion of capital investment and keeps local deposits hovering around the $9 billion mark.
If you need more information regarding the Boca Raton business climate, please call the Chamber at 561/395-4433 or visit bocachamber.com.