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Greater Fort Lauderdale’s Global Appeal

Greater Fort Lauderdale means business, and the region is drawing investment from across the globe. 

By Bill Lewis on October 14, 2022

Aerial shot of a Royal Caribbean International cruise ship in the harbor in the Greater Fort Lauderdale region of Florida.
Len Kaufma

Many of the best-known names in business are investing, growing and creating jobs in Greater Fort Lauderdale, where they discover low costs, a business-friendly environment and a standout quality of life that make it easy to recruit and retain top talent.

“The steady and continued growth of Greater Fort Lauderdale as a location of choice for businesses and talent is evident when you look back at where the community was even five or ten years ago, and that growth has been further accelerated in recent years,” says Lori Chevy, president of Bank of America Fort Lauderdale and fiscal year 2021-2022 chair of the board for the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance.

“The constant addition of new buildings to our skyline, more and more great restaurants and cultural amenities, and a diverse and welcoming culture continue to attract talented individuals to the area,” Chevy says.

The region’s highly diverse economy has added 150,000 jobs since 2011. Employers — even a roster of international companies — are drawn by a well-educated workforce, infrastructure, including an international airport and proximity to deep-water ports, and a business-friendly environment.

A JetBlue plane is photographed at a hangar in the Greater Fort Lauderdale area.

Choosing Greater Fort Lauderdale

Some 200 corporate, regional and international companies call Greater Fort Lauderdale home for their headquarters or regional offices, including AutoNation, Citrix, Virgin Voyages, Microsoft’s Latin American headquarters, Royal Caribbean International, online pet products retailer Chewy and Hotwire Communications. 

Other major companies with a presence in Greater Fort Lauderdale include American Express, Chiquita, JetBlue, Marriott and DHL.

Some famous names in business were discovered in Fort Lauderdale years ago. Others are more recent arrivals.

“As chair of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, it has been exciting to see companies choosing to relocate or expand in the area,” Chevy says.

Recent major successes include boating supply and fishing retailer West Marine, which relocated from California to downtown Fort Lauderdale, Chewy’s headquarters expansion in Plantation, El Al Airlines relocating its American headquarters from New York City and Long Island to Margate and four new Amazon logistics centers locating in the region.

The region scored a coup when global IT solutions provider Future Tech Enterprise, Inc. relocated its executive headquarters from Long Island, New York, to Fort Lauderdale to grow its South Florida market share.

The operation is home to Future Tech’s administrative, customer engagement, marketing, sales and tech support operations and is a base for executive meetings. In addition, the company announced it would create 25 new positions at the headquarters.

Other tech companies are arriving in South Florida, and Future Tech wanted to be near them. Future Tech has offices across the U.S. and serves customers in 170 countries.

“The collaborative efforts between government, business leaders and the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance have made this area a prime target for where businesses want to operate,” says Bob Venero, Future Tech’s president and CEO.

People gather around the Help Desk at Citrix Systems, which is located in the Greater Fort Lauderdale region.
Digital Blue Photography

Diverse Economy

Broward County is already home to some of South Florida’s largest tech companies, including Magic Leap and UKG. In addition, tech firms continue to choose the region as they grow. For example, robotic surgery company Memic Innovative Surgery opened a new Fort Lauderdale facility following a successful round of fundraising from investors.

Top industries in the Fort Lauderdale region include life sciences, financial services, manufacturing, marine industries and logistics. The region’s aviation and aerospace sector is also one of the nation’s largest, behind Dallas and Atlanta. 

Business in Greater Fort Lauderdale has an international accent. South Florida has the third-largest consular corps in the United States, with approximately 70 consulates and 25 foreign trade offices from major countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe and Asia.

The region’s success continues to gain momentum.

“In 2021 and the first half of 2022, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance assisted businesses in creating and retaining 3,945 high-value jobs and securing $258.9 million in new capital investment,” Chevy says.

If you’d like to learn more about the Greater Fort Lauderdale Region, check out the latest edition of Livability: Greater Fort Lauderdale

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