Invest: Miami speaks with Larry K. Williams, Former President & CEO, The Miami-Dade Beacon Council
The Beacon Council is dedicated to growing and sustaining Miami-Dade’s rich and diverse economy, supporting businesses small and large alike in reaching their goals. As Miami-Dade County’s official economic development partner, we will continue to strive to advance the community’s objectives and will continue to do so with our strong collaboration with the Miami-Dade County, education, business and civic leaders.
People think Miami-Dade is just a tourist destination, and while we do have a great luxury brand, we are so much more. We have a vibrant business community, with a diversified economy imbued with an entrepreneurial spirit. While small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of this community, many of our homegrown companies have be-come large, multinational firms. Burger King grew up here, as did Ryder and Perry Ellis.
Miami-Dade is on track to rival international cities like Singapore, Dubai and Barcelona. Our diverse mosaic of people and cultures attracts international investors, whether they are seeking real estate acquisitions or startup opportunities. We saw strong growth in our seven target industries in 2014, especially trade and logistics. Growth in all sectors has been driven in part by Miami-Dade’s position as a crossroads to the world, with access to and influence coming not only from Latin America, but also Europe – especially Spain. With the expansion of the Panama Canal, we are seeing more attention from Asia as well.
Besides being an affordable place to do business, with a favorable tax environment, one of Miami-Dade’s greatest assets is its wealth of talent. While it may not be widely known, we are a great college town, and local institutions like Miami Dade College, Florida International University, University of Miami, Barry University, St. Thomas University and Florida Memorial University are all centers of innovation. The future is bright for Miami-Dade County as it evolves from a Latin American gateway to a global business hub with the right talent, the best location, and a growing tech, entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem.