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Table of Contents:





Miami, Florida - general info


Population > 5.5 million

Leading indicator > Five years ago, Miami 's Wynwood Art District didn't exist; today, it boasts nearly 70 galleries and art spaces

Fast companies > Crispin Porter + Bogusky; Bacardi USA.; "tropical modernist" architects Arquitectonica


Art Basel Miami Beach's launch in 2002 thrust the city's contemporary arts scene onto the world stage. Now, world-famous starchitects such as César Pelli (who's designing a new performing arts center) and Herzog & de Meuron (the Miami Art Museum) compete to forge the evolving skyline. Mayor Manny Diaz wants all new buildings 50,000 square feet or more to be silver LEED certified or better.



 Miami is the largest metropolitan area in the Southeastern United States with 5.4 million. Miami and its surrounding cities make up the fifth largest urban area in the United States. 1


Miami's importance as an international financial and cultural center has elevated Miami to the status of world city. Because of Miami's cultural and linguistic ties to North, South, and Central America, as well as the Caribbean, Miami is many times referred to as "The Gateway of the Americas." Florida's large Spanish-speaking population and strong economic ties to Latin America also make Miami and the surrounding region an important center of the Hispanic world.


Miami is also home to one of the largest, most influential ports in the United States, the Port of Miami. The port is oftentimes called the "Cruise Capital of the World" and the "Cargo Gateway of the Americas". It has retained its status as the number one cruise/passenger port in the world for well over a decade accommodating the largest cruise ships and the major cruise lines.


Today, Miami is undergoing a massive building boom that ranks second worldwide (and first in the United States) for the most buildings under construction that will be over 492ft (150m), with over 24 of such buildings currently under construction. Miami's skyline also currently ranks third in the U.S. behind New York City and Chicago (18th in the world) according to the 2006 Almanac of Architecture and Design.2 Including other nearby neighborhoods and cities, the Miami area has over 80 highrise towers under construction, such as the Biscayne Wall in Downtown Miami, a row of skyscrapers being built along the west side of Biscayne Boulevard. Miami currently has the five tallest skyscrapers in the state of Florida with the tallest being the Four Seasons Hotel & Tower.


Officially, Miami has only once recorded a triple-digit temperature, the all-time maximum being 100 °F (37.8 °C), set on July 21, 1942.


Miami is one of the country's most important financial centers. It is the major center of regional commerce, and boasts a strong international business community. According to the ranking of world cities undertaken by the Globalization and World Cities Study Group & Network (GaWC) and based on the level of presence of global corporate service organizations, Miami is considered a "Gamma World City."


Because of its proximity to Latin America, Miami serves as the headquarters of Latin American operations for over 1400 multinational corporations, including American Airlines, Cisco, Disney, Exxon, FedEx, Microsoft, Oracle, SBC Communications, Sony, and Visa International. Several large companies are headquartered in or around Miami, including but not limited to: Alienware, AutoNation, Bacardi, Brightstar Corporation, Burger King, Carnival Cruise Lines, Citrix Systems, DHL, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Ryder Systems, and Spirit Airlines. Miami International Airport and the Port of Miami are among the nation's busiest ports of entry, especially for cargo from South America and the Caribbean. Additionally, downtown Miami has the largest concentration of international banks in the country. Miami was also the host city of the 2003 Free Trade Area of the Americas negotiations, and is one of the leading candidates to become the trading bloc's headquarters. This effort has been guided by Florida FTAA.


Tourism is also an important industry: the beaches of Greater Miami draw visitors from across the country and around the world, and the Art Deco nightclub district in South Beach (in Miami Beach) is widely regarded as one of the most glamorous in the world. However, it is important to note that Miami Beach is not a part of the city of Miami. Even major TV networks sometimes forget this, as when Good Morning America visited Miami Beach and Charles Gibson thanked the mayor of Miami (but he was standing next to the mayor of Miami Beach). In addition to these roles, Miami is also an industrial center, especially for stone quarrying and warehousing.


Miami is the home to the National Hurricane Center and the headquarters of the United States Southern Command, responsible for military operations in Central and South America.


Miami has also served as host venue for legendary legal proceedings, most notably the astounding $145 Billion verdict leveled against the nation's 5 largest cigarette manufacturers. This case was a class action on behalf of all afflicted Florida smokers and their families, represented by a prominent and successful Miami-raised husband and wife legal team, Stanley and Susan Rosenblatt.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2004, Miami had the third highest incidence of family incomes below the federal poverty line in the United States, making it the third poorest city in the USA, ahead only by Detroit, Michigan(ranked #1) and El Paso, Texas (ranked #2.) In 2002, Miami had the highest poverty rate.


Miami is also one of the least affordable places to live, with 69% of its residents spending at least 42.8% of their household income on home ownership. Miami ranks first among least affordable cities for home ownership.15


As of 2005, the Miami area is witnessing its largest real estate boom since the 1920s. The newly created Midtown Miami, having well over a hundred approved construction projects is an example of this



In 2004, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) ranked Miami first in terms of percentage of residents born outside of the country it is located in (59%), followed by Toronto (43%).




Miami: Economy


startups / entrepreneurs:

Miami entrepreneurship


Companies based in Miami



Private Banking

Private Banking in Miami : Miami is a cluster for Private Banking, especially for clients in Latin America. There are many banks in and around Brickell Ave. Florida International Bankers Association is important in promoting private banking in Miami.



For most of Miami's history, its economy has been based on tourism. In fact, it was not so long ago that the city came to life only during the winter months when tourists from cold northern regions flocked to its beaches, hotels, and resorts. That phenomenon is no longer the case, as tourists visit the region throughout the year. In 2003, 10.4 million overnight visitors came to Greater Miami, infusing the local economy with $9.9 billion in direct expenses, such as hotel rooms, restaurants, shopping, transportation, and attractions, and another $5.5 in indirect expenditures in such areas as real estate, medicine, and retail.


While tourism continues to be the principal industry in Miami, the city's economy has become more diversified. Trade is increasingly vital to the economy. Its close proximity to Latin America and the Caribbean make it the center of international trade with those areas. Nearly $50 billion in total merchandise trade came through the Miami Customs District in 2002. Because many companies choose to establish their Latin American headquarters in southern Florida, Miami-Dade County is known as the Gateway to the Americas; In 2003 approximately 1,200 multinational corporations were established in the region.


The city's international trade infrastructure is vast and varied. With an economic impact of $18.6 billion, Miami International Airport is the nation's top airport for international freight and third for international passengers. The Port of Miami, which contributes $8 billion to the local economy, ranks first among the states containerized ports and ninth in the United States. The World Trade Center Miami is Floridas oldest international organization, and assists member companies to introduce and expand their international presence. It is also petitioning to establish Miami-Dade County as the site of the Permanent Secretariat of the 34-nation Free Trade Area of the Americas. Miami is home to more than 64 foreign consulates, 25 international trade offices, and 32 binational chambers of commerce. Two free trade zones exist in Greater Miami, the Homestead Free Zone and the Miami Free Zone, one of the world's largest privately owned and operated zones. The top imports into the Miami Customs District in 2002 were apparel and accessories; the leading exports were electrical machinery and photographic and medical equipment.


International banking is another growing segment of the economy. With total deposits of $74.3 billion in 2003, about 100 commercial banks, thrift institutions, foreign bank agencies, and Edge Act banks are located in downtown Miami, representing the largest concentration of domestic and international banks on the East Coast south of New York. Brazilian, British, Canadian, French, German, Israeli, Japanese, Spanish, and Venezuelan banks have offices in Miami-Dade County. Still, domestic banks dominate the market, led by Bank of America Corp., which has total deposits of over $7.8 billion in its 25 local offices.


Items and goods produced: apparel, textiles, books and magazines, pharmaceuticals, medical and diagnostic testing equipment, plastics, aluminum products, furniture, light manufactured goods, transportation equipment, cement, electronic components, agricultural products such as tomatoes, beans, avocadoes, and citrus fruits



Virtual Office space:


A popular business hub, Miami has the need for office space you can rent / share & reduce cost.  Here are some of the providers:





Incentive Programs; New and Existing Companies


Local programs


The Beacon Council is the agency responsible for recruiting new businesses to Miami-Dade County in an effort to create new jobs. The Councils many free services include site identification; labor recruitment and training; business data and economic research; packaging local, state, and federal business incentives; and import/export assistance. The Council promotes the many advantages of doing business in Miami-Dade County, including a number of business incentive programs and a favorable tax structure. Business location incentives at the local level include Empowerment Zone and Enterprise Zone opportunities, each of which offers tax or wage credits to businesses based on the number of new jobs created. The Miami-Dade County Targeted Jobs Incentive Fund is available to companies that are on the list of industries identified by the county as desirable additions to the local economy. The Grow Miami Fund grants qualified small businesses long-term, low-interest loans ranging from $50,000 to $2 million. In 2003 the city partnered with ACCION USA to make $4 million in micro loans available to the small business community.


State programs


Enterprise Florida is a partnership between Floridas government and business leaders and is the principal economic development organization for the state of Florida. Enterprise Florida's mission is to increase economic opportunities for all Floridians by supporting the creation of quality jobs, a well-trained workforce, and globally competitive businesses. It pursues this mission in cooperation with its statewide network of economic development partners.


Job training programs


The Workforce Development Board (WDB), commonly known as Jobs & Education Partnership, is a part of Enterprise Florida. WDB provides policy, planning, and oversight for job training programs funded under the federal Workforce Investment Act, along with vocational training, adult education, employment placement, and other workforce programs administered by a variety of state and local agencies. Regional Workforce Development Boards operate under charters approved by the Workforce Development Board. The 24 regional boards have primary responsibility for direct services through a state-wide network of One-Stop Career systems.


State and local workforce development efforts are concentrated on three broad initiatives. First Jobs/First Wages focuses on preparing workers for entry-level employment including the School-to-Work and WAGES (Work and Gain Self-Sufficiency) programs. High Skill/High Wages targets the higher skills needs of employers and training workers for advancement through such programs as Performance Based Incentive Funding, Occupational Forecasting Conference/Targeted Occupations, Quick Response Training, and Incumbent Worker Training. One-Stop Career Centers are the central elements of the One-Stop system that provide integrated services to employers, workers, and job-seekers.


Development Projects


Under the leadership of Mayor Manuel Diaz, the city of Miami experienced an unprecedented level of development and private investment. New projects valued at about $12.5 billion were planned or under construction in 2004. This influx of capital resulted in a tax base that grew 15 percent during the year, attributing to a $2.3 billion dollar increase in real estate values. Two of the largest projects under development are the Midtown Miami Project, which will result in the Shops at Midtown and the Midtown Miami residential center, and a $1.5 billion commitment by a group of private investors to develop several locations in the city; combined, these two projects will result in 3.5 million square feet of residential, commercial, office, and parking space in Miami. Another significant development is the Wagner Square project, slated to break ground in 2005, which will produce residential and commercial retail units from 2.95 acres of environmentally contaminated city land.


City leaders are determined to develop all areas of the Greater Miami region, not just the downtown area. The $1 billion Midtown Miami residential project will create more than 1,500 jobs in Wynwood, an area that lost 20,000 jobs during the 1990s. Approximately $175 million in private investment will help revitalize Overtown, the poorest neighborhood in Miami. The University of Miami will bolster the regions foothold in biotechnology by constructing a 300,000 square foot Clinical Research Building along with two new wet lab facilities. The Miami International Airport launched a $4.6 billion program to renovate existing facilities and construct new ones.


In addition to attracting new business developments, Miami is focused on improving the existing environment. Mayor Diaz implemented the citys first Capital Improvement Plan, an initiative to rebuild the citys entire infrastructure by reconstructing, resurfacing, and repairing every road, sidewalk, and curb on a 12-year cycle. Operation Difference and a Quality of Life task force strive to make the city safer and cleaner by tackling garbage dumping and housing violations, along with such illegal activities as drug dealing, prostitution, and gambling. The Miami Herald reported that the citys crime rate dropped nine percent during 2004, the 11th consecutive year of decline.


The Clean Up Miami Campaign includes daytime street sweepers and litter and graffiti clean-up teams. The Adopt-a-Waterway program, the first of its kind in the nation, will improve water quality in the Miami River and its tributaries and will complement the city's $80 million dredging project that is expected to pull approximately 500,000 cubic yards of sediment from the river. Miami-Dade Countys Adopt-a-Tree program distributes thousands of trees throughout the region. The Miami River Greenways Plan will develop a series of pedestrian and bicycle paths to link parks and neighborhoods on both sides of the river.


Economic Development Information: Miami Department of Economic Development, 444 SW 2nd Ave., 3rd Fl., Miami, FL 33130; telephone (305)416-1435; fax (305)416-2156; email development@ci.miami.fl.us. The Beacon Council, 80 SW 8th St., Ste. 2400, Miami, FL 33130; telephone (305)579-1300; fax (305)375-0271; email info@beaconcouncil.com


Commercial Shipping


The Port of Miami, in addition to being the worlds largest cruise port, has achieved dominance in international commerce; it ranks first in Florida and ninth nationally in commercial tonnage. In 2002 the port handled 8.7 million tons of cargo and 3.6 million passengers, a 5.9 percent and 7.4 percent increase over the previous year, respectively. The Miami Free Zones principal function is importing for domestic U.S. consumption. Fifteen minutes from the seaport and five minutes from the airport, the free zone is one of the largest duty-free zones in the United States. Two major railway systems, Amtrak and Tri-Rail, link the city locally and nationally. Interstates 95 and 195 run perpendicular through the Miami region. A network of 5,640 miles of roadway provides delivery and receiving routes for the nearly 100 motor freight lines operating in the area.


Labor Force and Employment Outlook


The Miami-Dade County labor force is Floridas largest and most comprehensive, numbering over 1.1 million, of which college students and adult/vocational education students make up 100,000 each. The regions labor advantages include a large and diverse pool of Spanish-speaking and bilingual workers who contribute to Miami's expansion as a headquarters of international operations. The Beacon Council forecasts the largest employment growth sectors for the mid-to late-2000s will be professional and business services, education, health services, and construction.


The following is a summary of data regarding the Miami-Hialeah metropolitan area labor force, 2003 annual averages.


Size of nonagricultural labor force: 1,004,100


Number of workers employed in . . .


manufacturing: 52,400


trade, transportation and utilities: 252,800


information: 28,400


financial activities: 67,300


professional and business services: 146,800


educational and health services: 129,900


leisure and hospitality: 92,100


other services: 42,100


government: 150,900


Average hourly earnings of production workers employed in manufacturing: $14.09 (2003 statewide average)


Unemployment rate: 5.4% (December 2004)


Largest employers Number of employees Miami-Dade County Public Schools 54,387 Miami-Dade County 32,265 Federal Government 20,100 Florida State Government 18,900 Jackson Memorial Hospital/Health System 11,700 Baptist Health Systems of South Florida 10,300 University of Miami 9,079 American Airlines 9,000 Miami-Dade College 7,500 Florida International University 5,000 United Parcel Service Inc. 5,000


Cost of Living


The Beacon Council reports that Miami's 2003 cost of living, while above the national average, was lower than other major urban areas like New York, Boston, Los Angeles, and Washington DC.


The following is a summary of data regarding several key cost of living factors for the Miami area.


2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Average House Price: $323,449


2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Cost of Living Index: 111.5 (U.S. average = 100.0)


State income tax rate: None for personal income; 5.5 percent of net income for corporations


State sales tax rate: 6.0%


Local income tax rate: None


Local sales tax rate: 1.0%


Property tax rate: $26.23895 per $1,000 of assessed property value (2004)


Economic Information: The Beacon Council, 80 SW 8th Street, Suite 2400, Miami, FL 33130; telephone (305)579-1300; fax (305)375-0271; email info@beaconcouncil.com






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