This week’s question to South Florida CEOs who are on the Miami Herald CEO Roundtable: Several neighborhoods in South Florida are experiencing a boom. How does the region’s changing landscape affect your business, either positively or negatively?
On a positive level, the boom creates additional business and employment opportunities for the company, but on a negative level, the boom has an impact on housing costs, which makes it more difficult for the workforce to stay below the recommended guideline of allocating 31 percent of take-home pay toward housing.
John Benz, president, CEO, Community Care Plan
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We are all benefiting from a boom in our economy and this benefits every industry or trade in America. A reduction in taxes has created an economic boom. A strong economy with fewer taxes and regulations benefits employer and employee. When people have more money to spend, save and invest, the foundation of capitalism and a free market economy are strengthened. Everyone is winning in Florida and throughout the nation.
Armando Caceres, CEO, founder, All Florida Paper
It’s definitely been a positive thing for us. Our real estate practice has never been busier!
Kelly-Ann Cartwright, executive partner, Holland & Knight Miami chair of the firm’s Directors Committee
South Florida’s growth is in population and diversity. We are positively affected by this change because of the increased international commerce that accompanies a larger multinational population in this strategic geographical location. I have personally witnessed this in the city of Doral, which has blossomed from undeveloped land full of cows and pine trees into the epicenter of international trade.
Ralph De La Rosa, president, CEO, Imperial Freight
Since our clients are primarily manufacturers of architectural products, architects, developers and contractors, the latest construction boom has been a positive welcome for our business and many of our clients.
Jalal Farooq, principal, Al-Farooq Corporation
At the Miami-Dade Beacon Council we champion Miami-Dade’s growing economy. We assist businesses that are looking at Miami to either expand, relocate or open. As we see a rise in businesses, we see an increase in jobs and one of our main priorities is to strengthen and diversify the economy.
Michael A. “Mike” Finney, president, CEO, Miami-Dade Beacon Council
There is a strong and mutually beneficial relationship between the excellence of a university and the economic development of a region. Universities help create booms because they encourage innovation and attract talented students, faculty, and staff. Concurrently, economic growth benefits the University of Miami as we draw more talent and resources that help our institution — and in turn, the broader community — thrive.
Dr. Julio Frenk, president, University of Miami
Booms in local neighborhoods very much impact our business but in a positive way. The more people are out and about enjoying libations, eating, and smoking a great cigar, the better it is for business. The more people are socializing, the more positive and festive energy sets forward.
Kaizad Hansotia, founder, CEO, Gurkha Cigars
From a lending standpoint, it’s been great. In recent years, we’ve had the opportunity to support many small businesses and real estate investors who have contributed to the revitalization of a number of South Florida neighborhoods.
Javier Holtz, chairman, CEO, Marquis Bank
Miami is becoming a more mature, cultural, and vibrant city. This will continue to allow it to be more stable and less susceptible to a boom-bust economy. If this growth continues, we will see softer landings throughout future economic cycles, making it more and more attractive for investment. However, there are major issues that continue to impact business in Miami, such as traffic and the labor shortage.
Camilo Miguel Jr., founder, CEO, Mast Capital
We have discovered that the start-up community is fueling a lot of growth in the area. We recently hired a marketing and public relations company whose entire team has relocated to South Florida in the last five years. The lifestyle in South Florida continues to be an attraction for young families, and if the salaries offered can compete with the national averages, we are optimistic about being able to attract necessary talent.
Noreen Sablotsky, founder, CEO, Imalac
This is definitely a positive for Miami Children’s Museum, as the Downtown/Brickell district is seeing a major increase of families moving into the area. We can only determine that our proximity to these neighborhoods will increase our visitors, memberships, and charter school and preschool enrollment numbers. While still keeping a focus on our initiatives to include all families in the surrounding under-served communities, the influx of families gives the museum visibility and will help us maintain and expand our programs.
Deborah Spiegelman, CEO, Miami Children’s Museum
The region’s changing landscape is great for most South Florida businesses. Growing and developing communities attract strong and diverse talent, and for us, that means broader perspectives and experiences in the candidate pool. With the growth we’re experiencing, we are delighted to see the momentum in South Florida.
Steve Upshaw, CEO, Cross Country Home Services
THE MIAMI HERALD CEO ROUNDTABLE IS A WEEKLY FEATURE THAT APPEARS IN BUSINESS MONDAY OF THE MIAMI HERALD. RECENT QUESTIONS HAVE INCLUDED