Greater Miami Local Economic Outlook
July 10, 2020 | Issue 3
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.
PPP Summary Data
This week the U.S. Small Business Administration released information on local business participation in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

The accompanying chart is a sample of some of the information. The information is based on the business's location as reported by the business.

Download a city and zip code summary at
U.S. Recovering, South Florida Hits Setbacks
Some of the preliminary data coming out from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics for June is promising. The US added 4.8 million jobs in June, and the unemployment rate fell to 11.1%. Over the past two months, manufacturing has recovered 606,000 of its lost jobs, and these numbers are likely to continue to trend in the positive direction nationally. 
While the recent closures of restaurants & bars have been dominating the news cycle, America’s overall economic recovery has been proving resilient. Unfortunately for South Florida, the local economy is anchored by and reliant on both tourism & hospitality. These recent closures do not bode well for our local economic brand and our local economic prospects.

It is crucial, in our opinion, for local municipalities in South Florida to tighten existing budgets and find new efficient delivery mechanisms of public services. Let our team be a resource for your city to assist our community in weathering this economic storm.  

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.
We highlighted the latest unemployment rate numbers for Greater Miami in the last issue, which can be found here .

We will focus on the latest local trends in commercial and residential real estate in the July 24th issue. In the meantime please contact us for more customized local data and analysis.
Interesting reading about COVID, entrepreneurship, retail, recovery, and other economic development topics is available from the BusinessFlare® Academy and Washington Economics Group.
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.

In Hialeah there were 5,500 loans which preserved 20,000 jobs, 3,100 in Miami Beach (10,600 jobs), and 102 in Florida City (479 jobs). Loans per job ranged from $4,500 in El Portal to $10,787 in Bay Harbor Islands and $12,381 in Key West .

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 .

On the food and beverage side, the trends are very localized. In general, F&B sales in Greater Miami were down 68% compared to May 2019, but only down 3% from the prior month (April 2020). While all cities continue to perform below 2019 levels, some cities experienced an increase in F&B sales from April to May 2020 as restrictions on restaurants were relaxed (these trends may reverse based on this week's tightening of the restrictions on restaurant operations).

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).

Coastal and tourist dependent areas continued to struggle with food and beverage sales, including Sunny Isles Beach (-47%) and Miami Beach (-19%).
Free Download!
July 10-14
Governing for Economic Developmen t is now available on  Amazon  as an eBook and in paperback. You can download the eBook for free between Friday, July 10th and Tuesday, July 14th. The paperback is for sale on Amazon for $9.99 but we have local copies available for $5 each or 7 for $30. Proceeds benefit the nonprofit BusinessFlare® Academy.

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. Contact us for more information .
Some Good News
Not everything is negative on the economic development front. One of our core economic development philosophies is that "economic development is inevitable, but where it occurs is not." Here are some examples of positive economic development despite the current economic conditions.

In Doral, Chilean-based biotech start-up GenoSUR and logistics provider 7 Holdings Group joined forces to open a 10,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility that will produce portable sampling collection kits and transport devices for COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses. More information is available here.

Lost City Brewing Company is moving forward with its facility located in the North Miami Community Redevelopment Area (CRA) with an imminent grand opening.

In Homestead, Showbiz Cinemas, located in Homestead Station which helps anchor Downtown Homestead, was one of the few movie theaters to reopen three weeks ago with a plan approved by Miami-Dade County.

The Finding of Necessity for a CRA in the North Beach neighborhood of Miami Beach was accepted by the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners allowing the City to proceed with preparing a Redevelopment Plan.
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 in addition to our regular services:

  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 recovery from economic distress and natural disasters.