Top Miami business executives see the South Florida economy as growing, though slowly, and expect the trend to continue through 2013, according to a new survey commissioned by Miami law firm Bilzin Sumberg. The survey also indicates that Latin America, China and Russia will be the largest sources of inbound investment during the next year to year and a half.
The New Miami Investment Survey of 200 Miami executives found that about 60 percent of respondents saw the region's economy as 'strong and growing' or 'growing slowly.' The chief obstacle to growth, according to the report, is the city's substandard transportation system, with more than half of respondents calling for significant infrastructure upgrades.
"At a time when other parts of the country are still struggling, Miami is seeing a record level of activity on the part of major international players placing confidence in our city as a business center and investment target," said John Sumberg, managing partner of Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod LLP.
Sumberg attributed the activity to "the city's gateway status, the affordability and availability of quality assets, attractive climate and Miami's strong brand perception around the world."
The survey shows growth in South Florida coming largely from real estate, tourism and hospitality; individual donors dominating investment; continued improvement in financing; an economy that shows signs of slow but steady growth; and Latin America dominating investments, but with interest sparking among investors in China and Russia.
The report also finds barriers to growth, primarily from problems with transportation. More than half of respondents said the transportation system requires significant improvement. Paralleling that, more than half also said Miami International Airport and the Port of Miami are the area's key assets for attracting investors.
As ever, tourism is a top money attractor, and 58 percent of respondents said that although the sector has grown slowly in the past year, it is on the upswing.
"South Florida, and Miami in particular, stands out today as one of the hottest growth areas in the nation," said Brian Bilzin, partner and co-founder of Bilzin Sumberg. "South Florida's thriving tourism and hotel industries have inspired the confidence of individual and institutional investors who, confronted with economic challenges around the world, are seeking markets already in growth mode."
Bilzin Sumberg has also launched a New Miami Blog, where firm members and guest bloggers monitor the pulse of the local business community and share insights on the city's global economy.
Demographics and Methodology
In the third and fourth quarters of 2012, the law firm of Bilzin Sumberg distributed its New Miami Investment Survey via e-mail to a group of senior executives and advisors including CEOs, CFOs, CLOs, and other company officers.
Thirty-five percent of the 198 respondents identified themselves as a company officer or executive and 21 percent identified themselves as a manager or part of senior management. Industries represented include real estate (16 percent), legal (38 percent), and insurance/banking/financial services (12 percent).
Survey respondents include 65 percent who work for local businesses, and 17 percent who work at multi-national companies. Among respondents, 58 percent are employed by organizations with 50 or fewer employees, and 27 percent are at organizations of 250 or more employees. Due to rounding, all percentages used in all questions may not add up to 100 percent.
For more information about the survey or to access the full report please visit www.bilzin.com.
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