South Florida added thousands of new businesses in 2022, putting the region in the top three metropolitan areas nationwide for openings of everything from retailers to law offices.
Riding a population boom, the Miami metro area recorded 20,572 new openings — third most in the country — 14% more than 17,971 openings in 2021, according to a survey by Yelp, the online review platform.
Yelp based its ranking on the number of new business listings in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. As a result, South Florida ranked just behind Los Angeles and New York City for the most business growth last year.
“As remote work changed where people live across the country, Miami has been a known hot spot for remote employees and their families that previously lived in more population-dense cities and traditional business hubs,” said Richard Maraschi, head of data science at Yelp. “This is further demonstrated through the increase in home and local services businesses the city has seen since 2019 — as more people move to Miami those services are in high demand.”
Other Florida metro areas also experienced a high volume of new businesses in 2022. After South Florida, Tampa and Orlando saw the most activity, with 9,419 openings and 8,303 openings, respectively. As a whole, Florida had a total of 63,519 new businesses, also ranking it statewide behind California and Texas.
The upward trajectory of business growth in South Florida started in 2021 with the tidal wave of small business and corporate expansions and the activity heightened last year. Largely drawn by lower state taxes, weather and the region’s population growth, businesses opened offices across the region last year, including international law firm Winston & Strawn in downtown Miami, Amazon in Coral Gables and photo and editing application Picsart in Miami Beach.
More businesses — from independently owned stores and restaurants to large corporations — plan to open a new base here this year. Stores and restaurants are crowding into all corners of Miami-Dade, including Brickell City Centre, Coral Gables and Sunrise.
In fact, James Kohnstamm, executive vice president of economic development at Miami-Dade Beacon Council, predicted just as many business openings this year, or more, than in 2022. Kohnstamm said his agency already has recruited close to 60 new companies expected to open a bricks-and-mortar location or office this year in Miami-Dade. One factor keeping this business growth tidal wave going in South Florida? International companies are now looking to expand, no longer limited by pandemic travel restrictions or closed borders.
“Miami continues to grow in overall population and number of businesses. Our housing market is still in high demand. All of the indicators are showing demand is remaining high, and we’re not seeing returns back to where people were moving from,” Kohnstamm said. “I do think this will be maintained at least for the next year and the following, because some of that demand is still being created. It’s now structural. Miami is in a different place.”
Still, Jeffrey Havsy, a Moody’s Analytics economist, said gray clouds loom over the region’s prosperity, due to a potential U.S. recession and rising interest rates that is slowing consumer spending nationwide. Consumer spending accounts for two-thirds of the nation’s economy.
Much of the retailing sector will be particularly vulnerable, said Holly Cohen of the Holly Cohen Retail Advisory Services and president-elect of the Miami chapter of the professional commercial real estate organization Commercial Real Estate Women Network. Outside of experiential retail, such as Puttshack indoor mini-golf, bar and restaurant that recently opened in Brickell, beauty care services and restaurants, Cohen said, “We might see a lot of turnover for those that can’t make it.”
Source: Miami Herald