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

Greetings!


Small businesses continue to be optimistic about their future in Florida, as the Sunshine State continues to outpace the nation's economic recovery. Despite the good news, based on the report by Florida Chamber of Commerce and Florida SBDC Network, Florida business owners continue to have several concerns, too. Top issues include economic uncertainty (24 percent), workforce quality (15%), government regulations (12%), access to capital (10%) and ways to manage growth (10%). Access to capital, however, did not worry business owners as much as last year, when it was the single biggest concern.

 

As for the state's future, the survey says business owners remain cautiously optimistic: 78% of respondents expect the economy to improve in the next 12 months, with 18% expecting the economy to "improve significantly," a figure more than a double of that from the Florida Chamber's second quarter's survey in 2014.

 

Meanwhile in Finland, the government posted the worst unemployment figures in 13 years in May, which reached a concerning 11.8%. That's a 1.1% increase year-on-year, and worse than forecasted. Further, youth unemployment soared to 36.3%, up from 28.6% in April. Last week Finland revised its 2015 GDP growth figures down to 0.3% as the Ministry of Finance noted that exports were struggling to return to healthy levels, and that the continued high unemployment was dragging the economy back.

 

Perhaps, there is a lesson for Finland to learn from Florida. In late 2009 and early 2010, Florida reached its peak with unemployment being at 10.2%, close to where Finland is now. Today Florida's unemployment is at 5.6%. Thus, if Finland wants to learn from Florida, the government needs to keep its promise to lower the regulations for businesses and step aside and let the SM businesses lead the way.

 

We are now in the process of planning our next season's events. We hope you are enjoying the summer, and come back rested in the fall and eager to participate in our events.

 

 

At your service,

 

Lena Hartikainen

FACC-FL President

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Introducing New Members

 

Danish Pastry Co., owned by Nordic Food Co., brings the authentic Danish traditions of Danish pastry making to the U.S.A. The pastries are all made from original Danish recipes, and all the pastry dough is made in Denmark. The high quality of the raw materials being used, and the bakers´ proficiency, accuracy, and techniques, all help to build the high standard that the Danish pastry is known for. Danish Pastry looks forward to welcome you into their bakery and coffee shop, or to deliver original Danish pastries directly to your door. Welcome, Danish Pastry Co. to our vibrant business community!


 


Total Shredding LLC is an onsite document destruction company. It is local and family owned. The company services residents and businesses throughout Palm Beach County for paper shredding and hard drive destruction services.  The shredding service can be done in a fraction of the time it would take to do it by yourself. A certificate of destruction is provided at completion of service. All paper is recycled at a local recycle company to make more paper products. Welcome Total Shredding LLC to our team! 

 


Members making headlines


Embracing the Art of Code: Wyncode Celebrates Fifth 'Pitch Day'

Our member Wyncode was featured in an article by Naples Herald on the 7th of June, 2015. The article tells about the history of the company introducing the nation's first recognized coding schools. Through a course of nine weeks, this intense institution brings their students from zero to 100 and completely ready to take on jobs in their professional field. In fact, roughly 92% of Wyncode Academy's students have found jobs in their field within three months of their graduation - a night designed to showcase themselves, and the work they've created, dubbed Pitch Day. You can read the whole story here. 


 

Foreship featured in gCaptain Maritime News

Our member Foreship has recently completed CFD studies comparing added resistance in waves for two bow forms: a vertical stem bow form and a more traditional bulbous bow form. The results showed conclusively the benefits of advanced CFD studies in determining the best alternative. Read more in the gCaptain interview here.


News from Florida

Florida's Tech Sector Vibrant, and Likely to Stay That Way

There's no doubt that Florida is taking part in the technology investing boom. Venture capital investors poured just over $1 billion into Florida startups in 2014, the highest total since 2000. What's certain is that South Florida is generally well positioned to navigate the inevitable downturn better than most. Investors in South Florida still subscribe to the old-fashioned notion that startups should prove they can identify a viable business model before piling up tens of millions in venture investment. This prudent attitude toward investing, combined with the region's impressive built-in advantages, speaks well for the region's tech future. Read more here. 

 

Miami No. 2 in startup activity

Does it seem like everyone in South Florida is starting a business these days? This may be one reason why: The Miami-Fort Lauderdale metropolitan area again landed near the top of the Kauffman Foundation's index of startup activity, ranking No. 2 of the 40 largest metro areas studied, a report on state and metropolitan data released early June showed. Nationally, new-business activity bounced up in 32 of the 50 U.S. states last year, and 18 of the nation's top 40 metropolitan areas also saw increases in new venture activity, according to the index. Read more here.


US business owners can't pass on the Panama Canal expansion

About 16 percent of US manufacturers are looking to establish new operations in Latin America. The Panama Canal expansion is a massive infrastructure project, with major implications for small businesses. New growth opportunities for U.S.-based businesses have already nearly tripled overseas. This makes the final stretch of the $5.3 billion Panama Canal expansion arguably the most significant economic development since the canal opened a century ago. In southern ports like Miami, business owners are already preparing for the sea change. Now is the time for small- to mid-sized businesses to shift their strategies and ramp up operations to try and get a piece of the action before their competitors do. Read more here. 

 

Florida's advanced energy market is $6.2B in revenue in 2014 surpassing agricultural exports

The advanced energy industry is a major economic force in Florida, at $6.2 billion in 2014 revenue, according to the first comprehensive analysis of the advanced energy market in the state. Advanced energy outpaced the state's agricultural exports, which totaled $4.2 billion in 2014. Florida constitutes nearly 4 percent of the total U.S. advanced energy market, with building efficiency, electricity generation, and advanced transportation the largest segments of advanced energy business in Florida. Read more here.

 

Florida the new high-tech frontier  

Silicon Valley is synonymous with global technology, but could Florida be the next frontier? A new high-tech hub being developed outside Orlando will thrust the Sunshine State into the global advanced manufacturing industry, and promises high-skill jobs, new capital and the influence of a multibillion dollar industry. Read more here.

 

Florida's economic growth beats U.S. average

Florida's economic growth in 2014 outpaced the national average, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reported in early June. Goods and services produced in Florida increased 2.7 percent last year compared with 2.2 percent nationally, the bureau said. Florida's economy, meanwhile, has benefited from strong growth in real estate and rental and leasing. Florida, with more than triple the national growth in the real estate sector, was behind only North Dakota, the federal data showed. Read more here. 

   

 
News from Finland
 

Exports show healthy growth despite slump in Russian trade

Finnish firms posted their biggest growth in exports to Germany, the US and the Netherlands. Finnish exports swelled by five percent in March despite continuing declines in sales to neighbouring Russia and Sweden, Finnish Customs officials said. Exports were valued at 4.8 billion euros, slightly exceeded by imports of 4.9 billion euros, representing a three-percent rise. Read more here.

 

Venture capital flows into Finnish start-ups

Finnish start-ups have truly piqued the interest of venture capitalists. The Finnish Venture Capital Association (FVCA) has reported that relative to gross domestic product the early-stage investments received by domestic start-ups were second only to Sweden in Europe last year, outstripping countries such as Ireland, Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Investments in businesses are significant for the national economy as the capital allows the businesses to invest in growth and to create jobs. Read more here.

 

Finns among most satisfied workers in the EU 

Finland and Denmark have the highest level of job satisfaction in the EU, according to a new report from the EU Commission. The ranking was attributed to having some of the most favourable labour market situations in the EU. Furthermore, only 4.7 per cent of Finland's working population is dissatisfied with their work, the lowest in the EU. Read more here.


Meyer Turku bags multi-billion euro contract

The keels of the largest cruise ships in the world by passenger capacity will be laid at Meyer Turku. Carnival Corporation, Meyer Werft and Meyer Turku announced a multi-billion euro contract for four next-generation cruise ships. Two of the ships will be built at Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany and two further ships will be built in Turku, Finland. According to Finnish site Yrittäjät.fi, the order will approximately provide 30 000 man-hours for Turku shipyard, of which the share of subcontractors is slightly more than a half. Read more here. 

 

Finnair named Northern Europe's best airline

Finnair has been named Northern Europe's Best Airline at the World Airline Awards, for the sixth year running. Organised by Skytrax, the recognition is based on an independent survey of some 18 million travellers from more than 160 countries. At the same time, the oneworld alliance, to which Finnair belongs, was named Best Airline Alliance for the third straight time. Read more here. 


Imatra 3D printing company may revolutionise construction trade

Imatra-based company Fimatec may be taking a bold new step in the construction trade. The company has developed a 3D printing device that claims to be able to print out ready-to-use wall structures - a global first. The company expects its prototype printhead technology to offer high savings in construction. Read more here.


Upcoming partner events 
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.


 FinnCham Meeting

August 27-29, 2015

Helsinki, Finland

 Finland Chamber of Commerce is inviting all FinnCham-partners including chambers, trade guilds and associations worldwide to a FinnCham meeting. Finnish Government has developed public export and import promotion services under Team Finland process for over two years. Now it's time to consider how private actors could be more active and integral part of Team Finland. FinnCham representatives are coming to Helsinki all the way from Asia, Europe and America to discuss the role of private actors in trade promotion and to share best practices. For more information, please contact:  anne.hatanpaa@chamber.fiWe look forward to welcoming you to the FinnCham meeting in Helsinki!

 

Nordic Road Show by SelectUSA

September 14-21, 2015 

The five-country SelectUSA Nordic Road Show to Oslo, 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.


 

International Trade Master Series

September 16 - October 14, 2015

Tampa, Florida 

Take an in-depth look at the principal areas of international trade with Tampa Bay's leading global experts. Information covered will help you strengthen your international business and become more competitive abroad. The master series will focus on the following components of international trade:
 
International Marketing - Wednesday, September 16
Supply Chain Management - Wednesday, September 23
Global Business Management - Wednesday, September 30
Tax, Legal and Regulatory Compliance - Wednesday, October 7Export Finance, Partners & Free-Trade Zones - Wednesday, October 14
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