A Perfect Spot for Multicultural & International Businesses
When it comes to beautiful beaches and incredible weather it’s hard to think of many cities in America that beat Miami. With a reputation for both family-friendly culture and young, independent living, Miami is a hob for sun lovers, beach others and tourists.
But away from the beach reputation Miami has, there is plenty on offer that makes Miami a very attractive choice to relocate to. A busy media scene, a bustling multinational business culture, and a diversified economy all combine to make Miami a hot spot for international entrepreneurs. Let’s take a closer look at the “Magic City”…
A Welcoming City, With a Multinational Vibe
The area that is now Miami was originally settled by the Tequestas, a Native American tribe. By the 17th or 18th Century the area around Lake Mayaimi (now Lake Okeechobee) was settled by people who were referred to as Mayaims. As the Spanish made inroads into America in the 16th Century a small missionary was set up in the area, and many Native Americans died as a result of diseases such as smallpox.
During the late 1700’s, many of the Native American peoples had been displaced, and during wars between native tribes and the US government the area that is now Miami was devastated. Up until 1842, therefore, the area was very slowly settled and developed.
Towards the last half of the 19th Century, William English founded the village of Miami on the south bank of the Miami River. On the north side a woman named Julia Tuttle founded a citrus plantation, with the aim of turning the city into a gateway for international trade. She persuaded Henry Flagler to expand his railroad to Miami. By the turn of the century the railroad had reached Miami and the city was incorporated with 444 citizens.
From this point the city expanded rapidly and enjoyed real estate booms, as well as becoming a tourist spot as Miami Beach was developed. Miami also enjoyed another boost to the economy due to WWII as hundreds of thousands of servicemen trained in South Florida. By 1959, Fidel Castro had come to power, leading to an exodus of people from Cuba, many of whom settled in Miami.
During the 1960’s Miami experienced rapid population growth and an increasingly multicultural flavor. Neighborhoods like “Little Havana” were established, with over 500,000 Cuban-American residents. A further population influx occurred in the late 1970’s when over 100,000 Haitians and Nicaraguans arrived. Today, over two thirds of the population speaks Spanish as their first language.
The rapid expansion of Miami in just 110 years (1896-2006) from a mere 1,000 residents to over 5.5 million earned it the nickname “the Magic City”.
A Pillar for International Business
Miami has a diversified economy with many multinational companies choosing to site their headquarters in the city (over 170). These include: Burger King, Bacardi, Arrow Air, Norwegian Cruise Liners, Perry Ellis International, U.S Century Bank and Univision, to name a few. It boasts a strong international business community and is a major television production center, with a strong emphasis on Spanish Language Media.
Miami has an unemployment rate of 5.2%, the same as the U.S. national average.
Job market increases in the last year have been a steady 1.7%, and future job growth is predicted to be 38.1%, a little over the national average of 38.0%.
Sales Tax Rate is 7.0%, compared to the national average of 6.0%, but Miami has no Income Tax, compared to the average of 4.6% nationwide.
Wages are not as high as elsewhere in the country, with an average income for a resident of Miami coming in at $21,724 (compared to the national average of $28,555) and the median household income of $30,858, compared to the national average of $53,482 per year.
While Miami can’t claim to be as wealthy as cities like San Francisco or New York City, it’s still an attractive option for international entrepreneurs, due to its international and multicultural links and its impressive business headquarters portfolio.
A Perfect Place for Sun & Sea Lovers
Miami has a Tropical Monsoon climate, with a marked dry season (winter) and a wet season that begins in June and ends mid-October. In the wet season temperatures and humidity can build, reaching the mid 80’s to low 90’s (F). Humidity is usually relieved by thunderstorms and afternoon sea breezes, but it can be muggy during these months.
In the winter it is warm with temperatures reaching 73-80 °F. Snow is extremely rare in Miami, having never been officially recorded, and it’s rare for temperatures to go much below 70°F.
Miami has a hurricane season, which runs from June to November, and hurricanes are most likely to hit between mid-august through the end of September. One to two hurricanes make landfall in Florida per year, with only 40% hitting this area since 1851. Business, educational governmental institutions give hurricane preparedness advice year-round so that you know what to do in the event of a hurricane hitting Miami.
Bargains are Available for Savvy Entrepreneurs
Miami suffered during the financial crises of the early 2000’s and the housing market is still recovering from the burst property bubble, with foreclosure rates remaining high in the city. This means that prices are not as high as they could be which is great news for the international entrepreneur looking to settle within the area.
Median rental prices come in at $2,234 per month, and single-family homes at $315,000.
What you get for Your Money
For around $2,000 per month you can expect to get 1-3 bedrooms and 1-2 bathrooms with over 1,300 sqft of space.
For $300,000 you can expect to get a spacious 4 Bed+ home, with 2 + bathrooms and over 1,800 sqft of space.
If you are looking to connect with young, edgy graduates then the urban core of Miami is a good place to start. This comprises of neighborhoods like Wynwood, Midtown, Brickell and Downtown. If family living is more for you, Coconut Grove is seen as being a very family-friendly seaside village.
A Well-Rounded Education System & Excellent Start-up Rates
Miami has had a history of funding shortages and student overcrowding in many of its public schools. In recent years, the district has invested in bringing the standard of education up via digital learning, and has also introduced magnet schools. These are public schools that are allowed to select based on competitive admissions policies and they enjoy better reputations and lower drop-out rates than many other public schools.
Private schools in Miami are also based on competitive admissions policies and can be expensive. They enjoy great reputations, but it’s important to plan early for admissions processes and entrance exams.
Miami has a range of public and private higher education institutions, such as Florida International University, Manchester Business School, University of Miami and Florida Memorial University.
Perhaps because of Miami Beaches ‘party hard’ reputation, Miami draws plenty of young working millennials, especially in banking and trade. The 2017 Index of Start up Activity by the Kauffman Foundation listed the Miami-Fort Lauderdale areas as number 1 in the country for business start-up activity. With the great colleges dotting the Miami landscape this means you’ll have a wealth of young, talented graduates to choose from if you decide to settle in Miami.
Cruise Your way Around the Atlantic
Miami is most definitely a driving city, with over 72% of residents commuting via driving alone. Driving here is relatively painless; the city center is laid out on a grid, and there are different toll and non-toll roads that allow you to travel elsewhere in the city. Some of the main expressways such as the Turnpike, Dolphin Expressway and Airport Expressway are toll roads. You will need to pay a fee to travel on these roads, using a toll pass named the SunPass.
Miami also has a Metrorail, which is a 25-mile elevated rail system, like a monorail, and is a convenient way to get around. It can take you to Downtown Miami from Miami International Airport, through to South Miami.
Miami also has a system called the Trolley system, which is free of charge to use in most of the areas it operates in. This consists of buses that run in loops around regions like Downtown Miami, Wynwood and the Design District. It’s a cheap and enjoyable way to get around.
Get Active or Relax by the Ocean
Miami is home to a vibrant LGBT community and tends to be welcoming to non-traditional families, with large annual Pride celebrations. There are a range of museums and galleries such as the Jewish Museum of Florida and History Miami, which hosts over 13,000 artifacts dating back to pre-Columbian times.
The weather in Miami, and its rich geography, means that there’s a wealth of outdoor activities to choose from. There are many rivers, canals, bays and marinas, as well as the beaches lining the Atlantic Ocean. This means there’s plenty of chances to fish, surf, boat, sail and snorkel in Miami. As you might expect Miami has a host of incredible beaches, all with a different flavor and culture. It’s home to the world-famous “Ocean Drive”, a stretch of road that is the center of the Miami Art Deco District and home to many incredible restaurants as well as 900 preserved buildings.
As might be expected from a city that has Miami Beach, there are plenty of bars, blubs and parties for you to enjoy.
If you prefer to stay on land Miami has you covered with over 80 parks and gardens in the city. There are many natural life based attractions to visit, such as Miami Zoo, Jungle Island, Miami Seaquarium, Peacock Park and the Fairchild Botanical Gardens.
The cuisine in Miami reflects the multicultural flavor of the city, and has a heavy Caribbean and Latin American influence. It has spawned a unique style of cooking called Floribbean Cuisine, which is widely available throughout the city. There are numerous excellent seafood restaurants as well as, of course, Cuban coffee.
- Population: 2,757,700
- Major Industries: Financial services, Tourism, Trade, Media
- Gross Metro Product: $140.4 B
- Median Household Income: $47,520
- Median Home Price: $354,000
- Unemployment: 5%
- Job Growth (2017): 4%
- Cost of Living: 14% above nat’l avg
- College Attainment: 3%
- Net Migration (2017): 4,180
(Source: Forbes https://www.forbes.com/places/fl/miami/)
Starting a business in the U.S. can be both exhilarating and exasperating. There is much to know and even more to learn, and the pace of the information coming at you can be overwhelming.
That’s where Mount Bonnell Advisors come in.
Would you like to live your very own American Dream? At Mount Bonnell, we can guide you through the labyrinth of regulation and red tape and out into the blue skies of a dream come true – the dream of living and working in America.
Whether it’s technical issues around tax or residency, or strategic ones involving business formation and growth, the experienced team at Mount Bonnell Advisors are here to help.
So make that dream a reality by booking a consultation today with Mount Bonnell Advisors. Let the adventure commence!