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Newsletter
Finnish American Chamber of Commerce, Florida
Issue 6
Volume 7
June 2015
  

Greetings!


 

 It has been an interesting spring in Finland with forming the new government coalition. The brand new government will comprise of 14 ministers: 6 representing the Centre Party, 4 the Finns Party and 4 the National Coalition Party. Consensus seems to be on the lips of many, but only the time will tell how well this new coalition will be able to `walk the talk`. 

 

 Here in Florida, we are excited to see that the U.S. government is finally making a tour to the Nordic countries this coming September. SelectUSA will be coming to Helsinki September 18th. The sectors that should be interesting to U.S. companies especially are Cleantech, ICT, Life Sciences, Design, Health Services, Cyber Security and Logistics. FACC is working closely with the organizers and will be happy to give more information about the tour to those interested. 

 

If you are still thinking why small businesses should consider opportunities outside of U.S. borders, you may want to sign up for the Global Economic Forecast event organized by Enterprise Florida in Pensacola, FL this July. The seminar is set to answer this question for you.

 

 Lastly, please join me in welcoming our 9th intern from Finland, Essi Marjamäki. She has been with us for few months now and is already showing her capacity to be a great future leader. Welcome Essi!

 

 

At your service,

 

Lena Hartikainen

FACC-FL President

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Introducing New Member


 
Hypoluxo Storage is a local, convenient, friendly and affordable self storage. Freeing up space in your home, garage, business or office? For all these needs and more, there's one place that's your solution: Hypoluxo Storage has unsurpassed reputation for providing superior service and a clean, well-maintained facility. Welcome Hypoluxo Storage to our vibrant business community!

 
Introducing our new intern


 

Essi started as FACC's new intern in April, and she will  stay until August, 2015. She's a communications and marketing enthusiasts about to finish her Master's studies in Aalto University School of Business in Helsinki, Finland.

 

As an intern, Essi is taking care of FACC's marketing and communications activities across different platforms. She has been planning, marketing, and organizing events, writing and editing the newsletter, updating FACC's website and social media as well as writing blog posts.

 

Since Essi is here for the summer months, the seasons will be a bit quieter than usual. However, she has already gotten a chance to attend some very interesting and exciting events such as World Strategic Forum held in Miami in April and the ABiCC event for bi-national Chambers of Commerce also held in Miami in May. You can read more about her experience so far here. If you have any questions with regards to FACC or internship opportunities, you can email Essi at info@facc-fl.com.


Missed it? No worries, here is a recap.

Inauguration of the 15th ABICC World Business Month 2015

FACC got a chance to be present at this great event organized by the Association of Bi-National Chambers of Commerce in Florida (ABiCC) on the 4th of May, 2015. The event was a chance for Chambers of Commerce from all around the world to network with each other and to let the participants enjoy performances and taste delicacies from each Chambers' home countries. 

 

ABiCC is the umbrella organization for the bi-national Chambers of Commerce in Florida and, thus, if you are our member you are automatically an ABiCC member too. The event raised a lot of interest among our members - thank you for participating Amer Trading Inc., K.K. Car Co., USAsuomeksi, and The Spehar Firm!

 

We warmly encourage all our members to attend this event next year - it is a great chance to network and socialize with other members of different Chambers of Commerce and develop business contacts in the overseas countries represented by the bi-national Chambers while enjoying good food and nice atmosphere. You can read more about the event and see pictures here.


Members making headlines

 
HappyOrNot awarded for promising growth
We are proud of our member HappyOrNot, a global leader in instant customer satisfaction reporting, for receiving a Kasvajat Award on the 12th of May, 2015. The award was a recognition for the company's hard work that has resulted in rapid growth. The company has set itself high goals: So far HappyOrNot has managed to double its turnover each year and the goal is to continue this growth pace. You can read more about the award in Finnish here.

 

 

 

 

Lena Hartikainen's interview for AlfaTV

FACC's President Lena Hartikainen was interviewed for a Finnish tv channel AlfaTV in the beginning of this year. In the 40-minute interview she makes interesting remarks about the history of FACC and the challenges Finnish companies face in the US market. The full interview can be be found in Finnish here.


 


News from Florida

Florida named one of the top states for business

Florida ranked No. 2 among the 50 states in an annual survey of 511 CEOs for Chief Executive Magazine's "Best and Worst States for Business" list. Chief Executive says Florida will chip away at the gap by continuing to transform beyond tourism. The report cites growth in construction payrolls and technology "becoming an increasingly important driver in the state's growth." Read more here and here.

 

Florida leading way in recovery

Florida's economy is more than holding its own within the context of a lackluster, 6-year-old U.S. recovery, University of Central Florida economist Sean Snaith told a group of Sarasota leaders Friday.

The Florida jobs picture looks good, at least from a distance, Snaith said. "We are adding jobs at a much faster rate than the nation, and that gap may be growing," the economist said. The biggest factor helping the Sunshine State's economy right now is the same one that is making the highways more crowded: the resumption of the long-term trend of Florida gaining population from other states. Read more here.

 

Small businesses expect to expand and hire

The 300 business owners polled in Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade are bullish about their prospects. Many small-business owners are acting on their optimism by asking for loans or expanded lines of credit to buy more merchandise or improve their business. The widening of the Panama Canal expected to be finished in the next year, for instance, is driving this optimism. Many South Florida owners expect to benefit from more trade once the canal is able to accommodate some of the world's largest boats. Meanwhile, the improving job market is bringing more consumers back, said economist William B. Stronge, a professor emeritus at Florida Atlantic University. Read more here.


The Second Time is a Charm as Florida Gets Intrastate Crowdfunding

The Florida State Senate and House have passed an Intrastate Crowdfunding bill on the 6th of May and it is expected to be signed by Governor Rick Scott this week. The new exemption means an investor no longer must be "accredited" or a higher net worth individual - a designation that has excluded much of the investing population in the past. Thus, this new legislation will allow online crowdfunding platforms to register and conduct business in the state of Florida within the guidelines set out in the bill. With this law, Florida will join a growing list of states throughout the country that have passed their own Intrastate Crowdfunding laws. Read more here.

 

Biotech growth evident in state

Signs of a growing biotech industry could be seen in all directions during the recent 12th annual BioFlorida Celebration of Biotechnology. Nancy Bryan, president and CEO of BioFlorida, said industry growth is occurring statewide, pointing to statistics that show the number of biotech companies doing research and development in Florida grew 93 percent in six years, from 136 to 262 in 2014. "The biotech sector in general is growing, but also Florida has been discovered as a good place to do business, and in biotech there's a lot of research going on in Florida," said Patti Breedlove, director of the University of Florida Sid Martin Biotechnology Incubator. Read more here.
 

The Florida Microfinance Act: How can it help my small business?

The Florida Microfinance Act was enacted in 2014 to help provide access to certain financing options for small businesses and entrepreneurs. Small businesses and entrepreneurs have historically had significant problems raising capital, and the act was intended to address these problems. This program may be especially helpful in industries where technology has substantially reduced the amount of capital required for a business. In many industries the use of cloud-based technology, for example, has significantly reduced the costs of starting and operating the business. Even though the amounts available in the program are relatively small, they should be sufficient to allow many businesses to successfully navigate their early stage financial challenges and move to the next level. Read more on how the Microfinance Act can help your small business here.

 

Florida poised to be the nation's next high-tech hub

A Central Florida technology research center could help launch the state's high-tech manufacturing industry and ignite economic growth, says Florida TaxWatch, an independent fiscal watchdog group. Smart sensor technology, which is incorporated into high-tech manufacturing products, is a more than $80 billion industry expected to double in value by 2020. By locating the research center in Florida, the state expects to attract other manufacturing companies that rely on the sensors, resulting in new jobs and capital. Read more here.

   

 
News from Finland
 

First-quarter gains for Sampo and Metsä - Finnair trims losses 

Several major Finnish companies issued encouraging first-quarter results in May. The financial group Sampo boosted its profits to more than 460 million euros, more than one-third higher than a year earlier. Further, the forest products company Metsä Group also boosted its profits in the first three months of the year. Meanwhile national flag carrier Finnair announced on Friday that it has narrowed its first-quarter loss compared to last year. Read more here.

 

Verso receives funding and sets sights on UK and U.S.

Verso Globe Oy, a Finnish company specialising in corporate responsibility management and communications, has its sights set on new markets in the UK and the U.S. with the help of new funding.

The company secured roughly EUR 750,000 through a funding round. The company already operates in global markets and has operations in Central Europe and the United Arab Emirates. The next step towards internationalisation will target the UK and U.S. markets, where Verso is establishing subsidiaries in 2015. Read more here.


Nokia selling HERE, first bids in
Nokia appears to have succeeded in its attempts to drum up interest in HERE, with news reports suggesting that Uber, Facebook, three German automotive makers and a group of venture capitalists are prepared to or have already submitted a bid for the location and mapping unit. Information obtained by the business daily suggests that negotiations over the acquisition of HERE are already at an advanced stage, with the automotive makers being set to take a majority and Baidu a minority stake in the location and mapping unit. In addition, Nokia would hold a minority stake in HERE, according to sources interviewed by the Wall Street Journal. HERE has been founded on NAVTEQ, an American provider of digital mapping and location services Nokia acquired in 2007 for 5.7 billion euros. Read more here.

Finland tops Human Capital Index

Finland has been ranked first in the World Economic Forum's global Human Capital Index. Focussing on education, skills and employment, 124 countries were analysed regarding the proficiency with which they are nurturing and utilising their human capital at five different stages of the life cycle. The aim of the index is to assess the outcome of past and present investments in human capital and offer insight into what a country's talent base will look like in the future. Read more here.

 

Next generation of game studios hungry for success

The new wave of Finnish game studios now have the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of Rovio and Supercell. The example shown by the mobile game behemoths has encouraged many seasoned game developers to establish their own game studios, with the number of game studios in Finland doubling to more than 260 over the past few years. Teemu Huuhtanen, the chief executive officer at Next Games, considers it likely the one of the dozens of new game studios will grow into a major force in the global game industry. Read more about the new promising new game studios here.

 

Stubb becomes finance minister, Soini takes foreign affairs portfolio

This May saw binding policy decisions made in Finland on the economy and taxation, as well as social welfare and health care reform. The Centre Party leader Juha Sipilä, who is heading talks on forming a new coalition government announced hefty spending cuts and surprise ministerial appointments as he unveiled the programme for his three-party coalition government. Finland's former Prime Minister, Alexander Stubb, will hold the post of finance minister in Juha Sipilä's next government, with responsibility for implementing a programme of swingeing cuts to the national budget. Sipilä also named his new foreign minister as Timo Soini, leader of the Finns party, which gained the second largest share of the vote in April's election. Read more here.


Upcoming partner events 

2015 International Trade Certificate Program
May 28-June 18, 2015
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

The Florida SBDC Fort Lauderdale will be offering its 2015 International Trade Certificate Program every Tuesday and Thursday starting on May 28th and ending on June 18th. The program will consist of seven sessions from 4:30pm- 8:30pm each evening including dinner. If you own a successful business and want to explore potential international markets or an exporter looking to enhance your knowledge, then this program is right for you. This program is accredited by National Association of Small Business International Trade Educators (NASBITE). Attendees will receive a certificate from the SBDC upon completion of the training. In addition, this program prepares attendees to become Certified Business Global Professionals (CGBP). Contact Parbatee Chang at parbatee.chang@floridasbdc.org for more information. 

 

Go Global: Exporting for Business Growth

June 30, 2015

Orlando, Florida

Florida-based companies are expanding overseas. Are you? We know that expanding into international markets can seem daunting. Attend this interactive workshop to find out how the Florida SBDC at UCF can help you prepare your business for globalization. Participants will leave with tools, insights and knowledge to help your small business earn a share of this growing profit opportunity. Let the FSBDC at UCF guide you through the complexities of international expansion strategies. Find out more here.

 

Global Economic Forecast

July 13, 2015

Pensacola, Florida

What does the future hold for Florida businesses and households? When is a demand-driven talent supply system not enough? Why should small businesses consider opportunities outside of U.S. borders? These questions and more will be answered at the Global Economic Forecast. University of West Florida Economist Dr. Rick Harper will present the economic outlook for the region, state and the nation. CareerSource Florida Vice President Dr. Rod Lewis will examine CareerSource Florida's Market Intelligence Portal and Florida's labor market future. Senior Vice President Manny Mencia of Enterprise Florida's International Trade Division will present an overview of Florida's international business assets and resources to support export promotion. Registrations will be processed on a first come, first saved basis. Seating is limited. Find out more here.
 

Nordic Road Show by SelectUSA

September 14-21, 2015 

The five-country SelectUSA Nordic Road Show to Olso, Copenhagen/Malmo, Gothenburg, Stockholm, Helsinki, and Tallinn will offer U.S. state, local, regional, and tribal economic development organizations (EDOs) the opportunity to market their locations directly to potential investors in the Nordics. As one of the world's most innovative regions, the Nordic Road Show will take you to the birthplace of leading high-tech companies from the information technology (ICT), energy/clean tech, and design and construction sectors. Find out more here.


 

We hope you find this newsletter useful and we love to get feedback and suggestions how we can make it better. We also have many volunteer opportunities within the chamber so let us know how you want to be involved.

 

Sincerely,

 

Lena Hartikainen
Finnish American Chamber of Commerce