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. Small Business Administration announced that it will begin disclosing the business names, NAICS codes, zip codes, business types, demographic data, jobs supported, and loan amounts for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans above $150,000, and aggregated data by zip code for loans below $150,000. Watch for summaries of this information in future newsletters.
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. Some of the highlights: New construction was 7.9% of Sunny Isles Beach's total taxable value. Taxable values not including new construction increased only 0.5% in Miami Beach, while they increased 8% in Hialeah. Including new construction, taxable values increased 9.4% in North Miami.
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.

The unemployment rate declined from 7.4% in April to 6.3% in May in Coral Gables , while it remained at 22.2% for the second straight month in Key West.

Labor force participation declined in all cities for which data was available.

Hotel, food and beverage sales have not been updated since our last Overview, watch for updated information on July 9th.

June retail asking rents in South Miami were $52.27 per square foot, higher than the overall market rent of $42.49 and level with the June 2019 market rent of $42.08 per square foot.

Retail vacancies are up in North Miami Beach compared to June 2019, rising from 3.0% to 4.4%, while asking rents are 8.5% below the overall market rent.

In Doral , June industrial market rents are $13.28 per square foot, higher than a rate of $12.81 per square foot in June of 2019. There are also continued reports of strong industrial activity in the Doral submarket.
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 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. t
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.