Greater Miami Local Economic Outlook
June 12, 2020 | Edition 1
Welcome to the first edition of the Greater Miami Local Economic Outlook, a joint initiative of Washington Economics Group and BusinessFlare® Economic Development Solutions.

Economic Development is inevitable.
Where it occurs is not.
We know why.
The Recovery Begins
Last week, nonfarm payrolls rose 2.5 million dropping the unemployment rate to 13.3%. This stunned economists and forecasters across the country by halting what appears to be the shortest recession in our economic history. While the road to our economic recovery will be long, it is important to note how quickly we seem to be rebounding from a deep economic downturn. However, one month of data does not make a trend and we need to keep monitoring the economic numbers.

Local officials in South Florida should prepare for a long economic recovery (1 to 2 years). With reduced income from taxes, it is imperative public officials find new efficiencies in the delivery of public services and continue to tighten existing budgets. Further, we find that it is equally important to continue laying the groundwork that diversifies local economies to be more recession resilient.  
Local Economic Conditions
We track key local economic indicators for all 34 cities in Miami-Dade County, including taxable hotel, food & beverage (F&B) sales,labor force participation, employment and unemployment, and commercial and residential real estate.

F&B sales in Hialeah were down 56.8% in April 2020 compared to April 2019.

Year over year taxable hotel sales in Florida City were down 72.5% in April, while in Miami Beach they were down 82.9%

June retail asking rents in North Miami Beach were $28.87, 9% below the overall market rent of $31.64 and 7% below the June 2019 market rent of $30.95 per square foot.

May industrial asking rents in the Miami were $11.31 per square foot, down from $12.88 a year earlier.

There were 51 residential real estate closings in Miami Beac h in May 2020, compared to a 12-month average of 148/mo.

The unemployment rate in April was 7.4% in Coral Gables , compared to 22.2% in Key West , up from 1.3% and 2.0% in January respectively.

As the pandemic began to impact constituents in March 2020, Miami Gardens and Homestead had the highest unemployment rates in Greater Miami. In April, the highest unemployment rates were in North Miami , Aventura and Miami Beach , demonstrated on the chart to the left.
Business Shifts
The National Small Business Pulse Survey for the week ending May 30, 2020 indicated that very few Florida businesses have pivoted to other goods or services during the pandemic and downturn.

We are compiling examples of businesses that have made an adjustment. If you know of good examples please let us know about them by email .

Also, please share our Greater Miami Small Business COVID-19 Local Impact Survey with your business community.
Greater Miami Small Business COVID-19 Local Impact Survey
Governing for Economic Developmen t is now available on Amazon as an eBook and in paperback. A Spanish l anguage versions is also available.

This book is not intended to be an advanced course for economic development practitioners. It is designed primarily for the layperson that runs for a city council seat because they care about their community and want to see its economy and quality of life improve.
What does this mean for Cities?

In addition to the lost jobs and closed businesses in your city, the pandemic has a significant impact on local government revenues, especially the 1/2 penny for transportation, gas taxes, tourist taxes, revenue sharing, licenses and permits and fees for service. There may be other sources that cities may be able to tap into, but competition will be even fiercer than before. A solid economic case will be more important than ever when pursuing project funding from the county, state, and federal government.

We offer three levels of COVID-19 related information and analysis assistance to local governments:

  1. Data - we can provide updated local economic data as it becomes available.
  2. Analysis - we can conduct an analysis of micro and macro economic data and what it means for an individual local government.
  3. Forecasts - we can provide local governments with economic forecast scenarios.

We are also available for all types of economic, market and impact analysis. For more information contact us at
Did you read...
More interesting reading about COVID, entrepreneurship, retail, recovery, and other economic development topics is available from the BusinessFlare® Academy and Washington Economics Group.
Founded in 1993 in the City of Coral Gables , The Washington Economics Group is a boutique economic consulting firm specializing in comprehensive economic solutions for businesses. WEG focuses on the specific business needs of our clients with the goal of understanding the objectives of each of our clients, while also becoming a member of their team. WEG engages a limited number of clients each year in order to ensure the best client experience within our premiere areas of specialization. WEG possesses expertise in the economies of Florida, the U.S., Latin America as well as the global economy and emerging markets. WEG is committed to delivering the most comprehensive and complete economic services to their clients and their businesses. We are proud to be active civic-minded members of the community. WEG Executives are members of local and national corporate and non-profit boards as well.
North Miami based BusinessFlare ®  Economic Development Solutions was created in 2012, in response to the need for smaller cities with limited resources to compete for economic development. BusinessFlare ®  is a unique, trademarked approach to local economic development that integrates market reality into a local government’s strategic plan, annual budget process and day-to-day operations. This is not wonky big picture policy stuff; this is gritty, hands dirty, on the ground economic development implementation of proven strategies. BusinessFlare ®  is a unique, trademarked 6-pronged approach to economic development that focuses on the drivers of investment, common business climate themes, community connections, economic development values, key opportunities, and realistic implementation. We understand the perspective of everyone involved in economic development including businesses, residents, developers, investors, public agencies and elected officials. t
The combined teams of Washington Economics Group and BusinessFlare® have significant economic development experience. This experience includes positions that their respective principals have held as the economic development directors of the State of Florida and the City of Miami Beach during periods of significant economic growth.