Greater Miami Local Economic Outlook
June 25, 2020 | Issue 2
Welcome to 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.
New Data Coming
The U.S. SBA released the business names, NAICS codes, zip codes, business types, demographic data, jobs supported, and loan amounts for PPP loans above $150,000, and aggregated data by zip code for loans below $150,000. We included an initial summary in our last newsletter, and watch for additional insight into this information in the near future.
Economic Drama
The economic data coming out of the US right now is dramatic & unprecedented. US retail sales plunged a combined 21.8% in March and April, before rising 17.7% in May. Manufacturing production fell 20.0% in March and April, before gaining 3.8% in May. Nonfarm payrolls shrank 22.1 million in March and April, followed by a gain of 2.5 million in May. The savings rate surged to 33% in April, the highest rate ever recorded with current metrics.
Unfortunately, we believe that real GDP won’t recover to previous levels (from late 2019) until at least the end of 2021. The US unemployment rate won’t be back down to 4.0% or below until 2023. As mentioned in our last newsletter, with a dramatic reduction in revenues from taxes for municipalities, it is imperative local 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. We are in this for the long recovery road ahead. 

Local officials in South Florida should prepare for a long economic recovery.
Preliminary Taxable Values for property in Greater Miami's cities were released at the beginning of June. Without considering new construction, coastal cities saw their values remain flat or decline: -5.3% in Sunny Isles Beach, -4.2% in Bal Harbour, -3.5% in Bay Harbor Islands, -3.3% in North Bay Village, and Miami Beach only increased 0.5%.

The highest growth of existing property (without new construction) occurred in Hialeah (8%), Florida City (7.6%), Miami Gardens (5.7%), North Miami (5.5%), and Homestead (5.1%).

As expected, Miami and Miami Beach led the county with new construction, followed by Sunny Isles Beach, Doral, Hialeah, North Miami, Coral Gables, and Homestead.
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.

So far there have been almost 65,000  Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans approved for businesses in Greater Miami which supported the retention of over 220,000 jobs. On average, businesses received a loan of $28,912 which preserved 3.4 local jobs.

May 2020 hotel sales in Greater Miami were down 89% when compared to May 2019. Coastal cities were hit especially hard, with year over year declines of 97% in  Miami Beach , 96% in  Aventura , 98% in  Key Biscayne , and 86% in  Sunny Isles Beach .

Cities demonstrating an increase from April to May in Food and Beverage sales included  North Miami  (18%),  Coral Gables  (3%),  Hialeah  (4%),  North Bay Village (62%),  Miami Lakes and  Doral  (13% each). We expect to have updated Hotel, Food and Beverage taxable sales information for June in our next newsletter.
Governing for Economic Developmen t is now available on  Amazon  as an eBook and in paperback. A Spanish l anguage version 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.
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.
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.

For more information contact us at
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.
The combined teams of Washington Economics Group and BusinessFlare® have significant economic development experience which 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 and distress.