Capital Analytics Spotlights the Business Growth Turning Orlando into a Boomtown

Invest: Orlando to highlight economic opportunities in the region

November 19, 2018

ORLANDO, FL — Responding to the company’s successful expansion within the state of Florida, with new markets recently opening in both Tampa and Palm Beach, Capital Analytics is now setting its sights on Central Florida for Invest: Orlando in 2019. Innovation, technology and entrepreneurship are focal points for the inaugural report of Orlando, the first of an annual series that will underline and assess key issues and opportunities in the Central Florida market.

Invest: Orlando will feature insights gleaned from one-on-one, in-person discussions with over 200 C-level executives, tackling the high-impact stories unfolding in the Orlando and I-4 corridor business community, including the area’s emergence (in conjunction with Tampa) as a technology hub, its strong real estate market and a growing workforce bolstered by an entrepreneurial spirit. The report will cover all of the main sectors of the Orlando economy, such as tourism and hospitality; life sciences and healthcare; education; real estate; technology; banking and finance; manufacturing and logistics; aviation, aerospace and defense; and transportation.

“After expanding into Tampa earlier this year, Orlando is the logical next step in our Florida division,” said Abby Melone, president of Capital Analytics.  “A new focus on Orlando will give our readers the full picture of Central Florida, connecting the east and west coasts. It’s an ideal location for us to encourage international investment. The continued growth of opportunities in the Orlando market make it an ideal place for the company’s newest operation.”

The production of Invest: Orlando is underway as the Capital Analytics team has already connected with many high-profile industry leaders in the area. It will be the first and most comprehensive report on the region’s dynamic business climate. Currently in its fifth year of publishing the well-read and highly praised Invest: Miami, Capital Analytics has begun to expand into markets both in and outside of its home state of Florida.

“Orlando is an exciting place to be right now. It’s the world capital of modeling, simulation and training and the top-producing region for engineers in the aviation, aerospace and defense industry. It’s also the country’s newest hub for advanced manufacturing. Invest: Orlando will keep that momentum going by giving the region’s top executives in all of the major sectors a forum to let the world know why Central Florida is such a great place to do business,” said Jaime Muehl, managing editor of Capital Analytics.

With the report expected to launch in the spring of 2019, a number of key players in the Orlando business community have already expressed their praise and excitement to be included.

The team will be led by Executive Director Ollie Koshelieva. Ollie brings with her an extensive background in advertising, marketing and creative and technical writing. She is excited to create a high-quality report that showcases Orlando’s economic growth and development.

For more information contact:
Jaime Muehl
Managing Editor
TEL: 305-523-9708, ext. 230

Tampa Bay’s “Lost Summer”

By staff writer
October 2018 – 2 min. read

There’s no escaping the fact that the 2018 summer tourist season on Florida’s Gulf Coast has been one of the worst in recent memory, both economically and environmentally. The major red tide event has led to record-low occupancy rates for local hoteliers and restaurateurs. In some counties, residents are already referring to it as the “lost summer” due to the estimates of revenue lost from lack of tourists. While mostly restricted to the west coast of Florida, the outbreak of red tide has recently turned up on the Atlantic coast and parts of South Florida as well.

Nearing the end of September, well over 700 tons of red tide debris had been collected in Pinellas County. Similarly, 40 businesses in the area reported losses of at least $128 million. Both figures are still likely to rise as the red tide lingers beyond the summer.

For residents of Pinellas County, the trouble started months prior to the red tide actually hitting local shores. The counties to the southern part of Pinellas were hit the hardest this summer, but news sources mostly from outside of the state more or less lumped all of the central Gulf Coast together in their coverage of red tide, leading many beach-going Americans to believe that the entire Gulf Coast was plagued with toxic blue-green algae.

“It was reminiscent of the [BP] oil spill to some degree. It was here if you watched the national media, but it really wasn’t here. We actually never had oil on our beaches,” Keith Overton, president of TradeWinds Island Resort, told Invest: Tampa Bay when he sat down with our team earlier this week. “The national exposure and media coverage that the red tide to the south of us received killed us, even though we had very minimal red tide for only a few days here on St. Pete Beach. Our year has been destroyed financially when comparing the results to our forecast at the beginning of the year. We know with certainly that we lost somewhere around 1,000 room nights. We’ll never know how many people canceled and didn’t tell us why or never even called to book. You could easily estimate that it had a million-dollar impact on us.”

Understandably, marketing Pinellas County as a tourist destination has been a bit more challenging this year.

“Our goal is to convey the most accurate up-to-the-moment conditions of the shore,” David Downing, president and CEO of Visit St. Pete-Clearwater, told Invest:. To that end, the Visit St. Pete-Clearwater website has an online resource titled “Current Beach Conditions,” offering beachgoers real-time information about the local waterways.

The website is both industry-facing and consumer-facing. “It has 17 points across Pinellas County’s coast, updated twice daily with human eyes, ears and noses on the beach, reporting on the conditions in real time,” he says. “It has been a godsend for us because we can send people to the unaffected places.”

As far as marketing and advertising is concerned, Downing suggests that Visit St. Pete-Clearwater has had to tweak its message a bit. “[We’re talking] about many of the other facets of the destination, not so beach-forward,” he said. “We have the mural festival happening, a jazz festival and the culinary and craft beer scene, among many others.”

So what is being done about red tide? As we enter into the fall and winter months (however indistinct that transition might be here in Florida), county officials and business owners are looking forward to putting all of their red tide woes in the rear-view mirror.

A $1.3 million grant from the Department of Environmental Protection has paid for those aforementioned beach and water cleanups across Pinellas beaches, and Governor Scott has pledged a total of $13 million in grants to help affected counties battle the algal bloom.

Keith Overton says that in the future he’d like to see some funds allocated for research purposes. “I really do think that scientific research is a worthy investment to try to figure out how we can minimize the effects of red tide,” he told Invest:. “The only way we can even consider solutions is through government-funded scientific research. If we can better understand what causes red tide, we have a better shot at finding a viable solution and one that has less of an impact on the Gulf of Mexico fishery.”

For more information about our interviewees, visit their websites
Visit St. Petersburg-Clearwater,
TradeWinds Island Resort,



Governor Wolf Declares Statewide Disaster Emergency

January 2018 — Back in October, President Trump declared the opioid crisis a national health emergency. While the national rate of drug overdose is 16.3 per 100,000 people, that number is more than double in Pennsylvania: 36.5 per 100,000 people.

In 2016 alone, drug overdoses accounted for 4,642 deaths in the state of Pennsylvania, a 37 percent increase from 2015. These horrific numbers led Governor Wolf to declare the heroin and opioid epidemic a statewide disaster emergency on January 10, 2018.

Pennsylvania already has many responses to the epidemic in place. These include the expansion of Medicaid to help 125,000 access treatment, the creation of a support hotline, the establishment of 45 centers of excellence treatment programs that allow 11,000 Pennsylvanians to receive care and the provision of $2 million to expand specialty drug courts.


As part of Wolf’s most recent declaration — the first of its kind for a public health emergency in Pennsylvania — 13 key initiatives are mentioned as means to continue to combat the issue. These include the creation of an Opioid Operational Command Center at Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, widening access to the state’s prescription drug monitoring program and easing the drug treatment process. The three main concerns that the initiatives address are enhancing coordination and data collection to bolster state response, expanding access to treatment and saving lives.

Pennsylvania has the fourth-highest opioid-related deaths in the U.S., after West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky. Governor Wolf’s recent declaration will hopefully spur the actions being taken against the opioid epidemic in the state, saving both lives and families.

For more information on the opioid epidemic and what the Pennsylvania government plans to do to counter it, visit:

PhilaPort Expansion Will Boost the Regional Economy

January 2018 — In December, PhilaPort was named by Forbes as one of the fastest-growing import ports by value. The port officially registered a $3.34 billion increase in imports in 2017; motor vehicle imports rose by 25.6 percent, oil by 212.3 percent, frozen beef by 4.6 percent, cocoa beans by 8.89 percent and non-alloy steel products by 98.1 percent. 

Now, PhilaPort is poised for more growth in the new year. The nearly completed Delaware River Main Channel Deepening Project, which deepened the port’s main channel from 40 to 45 feet, will allow for more efficient transportation of cargo. This project has an estimated economic impact of $13 million for the U.S. economy.

In 2017, PhilaPort announced its investment in four new cranes. Two of them will arrive in March 2018, and the other two — post-Panamax gantry cranes — are expected by April 2019. The cranes come with a total price tag of $23.5 million and will be able to unload cargo from the largest container ships in the world.

Due to the port’s growth, recent congestion has occurred as it handles an increasing amount of imports. In response, PhilaPort’s current priority is expanding warehouse space.

Last June, PhilaPort spent $10 million on its purchase of the former Produce and Seafood Terminal from Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation. This site will be used to increase container capacity and warehouse space.

At Packer Avenue Marine Terminal, the port is completing its strengthening of ship berths. In Port Richmond’s Tioga Marine Terminal, the port is developing a 100,000-square-foot warehouse and is also creating a $93 million vehicle-processing center for Hyundai and Kia imports at the Southport Terminal of the Navy Yard. All of the warehouse improvements and construction is expected to be completed before the end of 2018.

These recent projects will undoubtedly have a profound impact on the regional economy. In fact, these improvements are expected to create approximately 7,000 jobs for truckers, rail workers, suppliers and port-related businesses over the next decade. They are also expected to create 2,000 new jobs within the port itself.

Capital Analytics covered a similar topic extensively when working with PortMiami for Invest: Miami during its expansion process and is excited to begin working with the City of Philadelphia.

For more information on PhilaPort’s expansion, visit their website at:


Construction Workers Wanted

December 2017 — From January 2015 to January 2016, construction costs in Atlanta increased by 3.8 percent, which is higher than the national average of 1 percent. Meanwhile, Metro Atlanta has an all-time low vacancy rate of 7.2 percent. While demand for real estate in Atlanta is increasing due to the influx of young entrepreneurs, the labor pool for construction companies is continuously shrinking. In fact, a 2017 Georgia Construction Outlook Survey reported that 87 percent of companies surveyed said that recruiting and training qualified individuals was their biggest business challenge. Another report produced by CBRE shows that the number of construction workers shrunk by 20 percent as of 2016. Inevitably as demand increases, so does rent. And a decreasing labor supply only spurs these increasing prices.

 Nevertheless, the Atlanta real estate market is thriving. While prices continue to rise, demand has not yet been stifled.

 Focus: Atlanta spoke with a number of business leaders in the real estate and construction industries of Atlanta to get their insights. Here is what they said:


Bob Mathews, President and CEO, Colliers International Atlanta

“One of the issues in construction today is availability of workers. Labor costs have driven up prices substantially. We are not going to see a lot of new product built unless we see a demand that is willing to pay the costs plus a return. Office rents have climbed to over $40 per square foot per year for new product in the Atlanta market.”

Alex Chambers, Regional Vice-President, KDC Real Estate Development

“Rising costs are a huge issue caused by the workforce being short of labor. A lot of areas have become more competitive, and it’s another reason that built-to-spec is becoming the norm. Because construction costs are driving the prices up, companies want to make quicker decisions and get more for their money.”


Jenni Bonura, Managing Partner, Harry Norman Realtors

 “A lot of builders are finding that the cost of labor and land are significantly high. The Federal Reserve has said that Atlanta has some of the best prices in the nation as far as lots available and the price of those, but those are not in the Midtown, Buckhead or Alpharetta type of areas. The lenders are starting to loosen up, but it hasn’t happened enough to meet the demand that currently exists.”

To find out more about our interviewees above, visit their websites at:


KDC Real Estate Development:

Harry Norman Realtors:


State and Federal Disaster Loan Programs Now Available to Florida Businesses Impacted by Hurricane Irma

Brought to you by the Beacon Council

The Miami-Dade Beacon Council, the official economic development partnership, is working closely with public and private sector leaders to help Miami-Dade’s business community recover and get back to work as soon as possible. We are working with our partners including the Small Business Administration, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Small Business Development Center and others to:

1) assess damage to businesses and evaluate needs;
2) provide information on available resources;
3) facilitate connections to service providers.

The Council is using its Banking & Finance Committee to provide coordinated resources and outreach to businesses seeking loans in the wake of Hurricane Irma. Also, the Small Business Committee is meeting next week to hear directly from community partners and bankers about next steps to ensure communication and resources continue to flow.

Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program
Governor Rick Scott has activated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program to provide short-term, interest-free loans to businesses damaged by the storm.
Administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) in partnership with the Florida SBDC Network and Florida First Capital Finance Corporation (FFCFC), the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan helps businesses bridge the gap between the time damage is incurred and when a business secures other financial resources, including payment of insurance claims or longer-term Small Business Administration loans. Up to $10 million has been allocated for the program.
Under the program, eligible small businesses in all 67 Florida counties with two to 100 employees may apply for short-term, interest-free loans for $1,000 to $25,000 for 90 or 180-day terms. To be eligible, a business must have been established prior to September 4, 2017, and demonstrate economic injury or physical damage as a result of Hurricane Irma.
Apply for the Florida Emergency Bridge Loan program. The deadline to apply is October 31, 2017.
Business Damage Assessment Survey
DEO is assessing the damage caused by the storm. Small businesses that have incurred losses due to Hurricane Irma are asked to complete a Business Damage Assessment Survey. The survey will help the State Emergency Response Team determine the needs and level of assistance for impacted businesses. Take the survey.
Federal Assistance
Following President Trump’s major disaster declaration, impacted businesses may now apply for low-interest loans through the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Through the declaration, businesses and nonprofits in Broward, Charlotte, Clay, Collier, Duval, Flagler, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Palm Beach, Pinellas, Putnam, Sarasota and Saint Johns counties are eligible for both Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the SBA.

In adjacent counties, small businesses and most private non-profit organizations are eligible to apply only for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans: Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Desoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Marion, Martin, Nassau, Okeechobee, Pasco, Polk, and Volusia in Florida.

Business Physical Disaster Loan Program
Business Physical Disaster Loans are intended to help repair or replace disaster-damaged property. Businesses and nonprofit organizations may apply for up to $2 million to repair or replace property, including real estate, equipment, inventory, machinery, and other business assets.
Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program
Businesses in qualifying adjacent counties may apply for up to $2 million for working capital through the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. The Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides working capital loans to help small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private, nonprofit organizations meet financial obligations and operating expenses through the disaster recovery period.
Interest rates are as low as 3.305 percent for businesses and 2.5 percent for nonprofit organizations. The SBA customizes loan amounts and terms up to a maximum of 30 years for each applicant.
Applicants may also be eligible for a loan amount increase up to 20 percent of their physical damages to protect property from future damage, including adding a safe room or storm shelter.

To Apply for Physical and Economic Injury Loans
Businesses must first register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at or call the toll-free helpline at 800-621-3362. Those who use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services should call 800-621-3362 (800-462-7585 TTY).

Upon registration with FEMA, businesses may apply for a disaster loan a number of ways:
• Submit an online application at
• Download an application from and submit to a SBA disaster recovery center or mail to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155;
• Visit a SBA recovery center for one-on-one assistance; or
• Visit their local Florida SBDC for assistance.
The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is November 9, 2017. The deadline to return economic injury applications is June 11, 2018.
Florida SBDC Network Stands Ready to Assist
As a principal responder in the state’s Emergency Support Function for Business and Industry, the Florida SBDC Network stands ready to assist businesses with disaster loan applications and with other post-disaster challenges.

“The recovery efforts from Hurricane Irma will take some time, however, the SBA’s implementation of disaster assistance in the impacted areas will help usher along the process,” said South Florida District Director Francisco “Pancho” Marrero. “As soon as it’s clear to do so, I encourage everyone in the listed counties to complete their respective damage assessments and after completing FEMA disaster requirements, apply for assistance from the SBA’s Disaster Assistance Center.”
The Florida SBDC Network supports disaster preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation through its Business Continuation Services. As part of the network’s service offering, the Florida SBDC will also be deploying its Mobile Assistance Centers (MACs) into affected communities to deliver small business owners on-site assistance with loan applications and with other post-disaster challenges. The Florida SBDC is working with state and federal officials to determine the MACs’ locations and will release that information soon.
For questions about the Emergency Bridge Loan Program, the U.S. SBA Physical and Economic Injury Loan Programs, and how the Florida SBDC can help, please contact the Florida SBDC Network at (850) 898-3489 or The phone line will be answered during regular business hours; all voice mails and emails will be responded to within 24 hours.

Mario Diaz-Balart, Congressman-25th District of Florida

 Invest: Miami speaks with Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart of the 25th District of Florida

Hialeah’s average household income was $29,249 in 2015 and Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Port St. Lucie’ was $48,333. What policies should be pursued in order to increase growth in Hialeah and narrow the income gap?

The issue is economic growth. The agenda that the House of Representatives put together covers a number of key areas. Economic growth is the first thing. We ask ourselves what we can do at the federal level to incentivize economic growth. We will try and roll back this explosion of new, overreaching regulations. You will also see a lot of action taken administratively to take the boot off the throats of businesses.

Secondly is tax reform. We want to dramatically reduce taxes so that U.S. businesses can be more competitive. As we speak, there are different committees working on legislation. You are going to see a number of bills coming forward. The difference now is that we feel confident that it will get passed.

The first thing we can’t ignore is healthcare. Healthcare is 20 percent of the U.S. economy. Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act) has not only been disastrous, but it has also been a hindrance on the economy. We will reform healthcare by listening to the American people. There are a lot of ideas and we will consider them, but it doesn’t mean we will push all ideas through. We want to rescue people from the atrocity that is Obamacare.

Another key issue for economic growth that will create more than a million jobs is energy. We need to free up the energy resources. It will create jobs and roll back the out-of-control regulations from the Obama administration. The economic impact of all of these issues should really help create an atmosphere where the job creators will be able to flourish. We can’t be satisfied with economic growth of only 2 percent. Economic growth will be priorities one, two, and three of this administration.

What are the main benefits of the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act of 2016? What can be done from Capitol Hill to continue protecting environmental conditions that are ever more important for South Florida’s economy?

The committees have worked very hard to create a plan that would help the economy. I’m a senior member of the appropriations committee and we have had substantial success putting a dam around Lake Okeechobee. That has an impact that is crucial for our environment but it is also crucial for our economy. Thankfully we have a lot of water in Florida, but we have a system where we actually dump water in the rainy season, which is very expensive.

We want to help the environment but we also want to help the economy and we have had some success with this. If we are going to continue the restorations, it will be subject to  a strong and vibrant economy so that we can afford these projects. It is all interlinked. The Everglades are an environmental issue as well as an economic one. If we continue to accept 2-percent growth, we won’t be able to finance these projects. That is why we need to produce a vibrant economy. I’m optimistic that we will be able to get it done.

What can be expected from the new administration, in terms of trade policy, taking into account the president’s opposition to the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement(NAFTA)?

President Trump has been clear that he doesn’t want to get into these multi-nation, massive trade deals. He is more focused on doing bilateral trade deals, which I think is something that we can do.

We are looking at NAFTA, and what it has done to Florida, as a mixed blessing. In some parts our economy has been devastated. We have a president who is not content with the status quo and wants to make sure that whatever deals we do are good for our economy. I think that we will be able to do trade deals on a bilateral basis. I’m optimistic that we will be able to move forward.

There are aspects of NAFTA that must be modernized and changed. A lot of people are fearful of looking at these trade deals. Reviewing deals that were made a long time ago is always healthy. We are already talking about it and looking at options to improve trade deals. People can sometimes be scared of change, but I am very optimistic.

Our new administration is unified, and believes that a free market economy is the best system. I am very optimistic and haven’t felt this way in a long time.

What are the main tasks of the Congressional Hispanic Conference and how does it engage the Hispanic community in the political system?

If you look at those impacted by the sluggish economy, it has largely been in the Latino and African American communities. I go back to economic growth. The job creators are small businesses, and a large proportion of those are Hispanic.

We are now heading into a period of growth. I constantly meet with small business owners and a lot of them have told me about the uncertainty that exists out there. Everyday there is a new regulation, but those days are over. Nobody is in a better position to take advantage of the enterprise system than the growing, hardworking, entrepreneurial Hispanic community of the U.S.

What is the best way to increase mutual economic benefits between the U.S. and Cuba without renouncing the demands for democracy?

Look at the results of Barack Obama’s policy. We heard from him and others that had pushed for better relations that this would increase agriculture sales and create economic growth. But the reality is that U.S. agricultural sales are down more than 50 percent. All of the narratives have been false.

It has also been catastrophic for the Cuban people. They haven’t seen repression at this level in 20 years. The number of political arrests, the beatings of opposition leaders and ladies in white has been rising. There’s a third component, it has been negative for the national security interests of the U.S. We are still dealing with a dictatorship. We’ve seen espionage activity and they have intensified their relationship with rogue regimes. All it has done is finance Castro’s monopolies. Until that system changes, you are looking at an insignificant market.

To learn more about the Congressman Diaz- Balart, visit his website at:

Invest: Miami speaks with Keiran Bowers, President, Swire Properties

Having just joined Swire from their Hong Kong headquarters, what can you tell us about Miami’s similarities and differences?

Hong Kong is geographically predisposed to be the trade link with China and the rest of the world. You have the protection of Hong Kong with rule of law as well as the professional services that trade requires. It is a great place to be headquartered while you are doing business in China or other parts of Asia. Similarly, Miami is the interface between U.S. and Central and Latin America. It is in a country with reliable laws as well as providing professional service infrastructure – legal, accounting, management consultancy – that a global company would expect. Much like Miami, Hong Kong has one of the busiest ports and airports, serving as an Asian transportation hub, as Miami is for Latin America. They are both geographically well positioned. In Hong Kong, you can quickly reach China, Singapore and Thailand, while in Miami, you can reach New York or Buenos Aires daily.

Brickell City Centre’s Phase One was released in 2017. How have sales for the tower performed?

The buyer profile remains largely overseas, but the mix is forever changing. We have seen a lot of Argentinean and Venezuelan interest, with a slight decline from Brazil. While those interested in buying are still representative of a largely international market, we are beginning to see more interest from people living in New York who are looking for an urban center with a beach. The market, has definitely slowed. There is a whole host of reasons why, from a strong U.S. dollar to political uncertainty in the region. However, what we are seeing, is just a pause for breath, which is healthy for the market. I don’t think there will be a large-scale correction because you can see the breaks already being applied.

BritWeek presents An Ocean Science Virtual Reality Experience

When: Thursday, March 9th from 7.00pm

Where: Villa Vecchia, 4821 Pine Tree Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33140

An exclusive evening celebrating the collaboration between British marine scientists  together with ANGARI Foundation on board their 65 foot research vessel.