— New jobs, companies, COVID-19 response, and Small Business support highlighted at virtual gathering—
MIAMI, FL – OCTOBER 29, 2020 – The Miami-Dade Beacon Council, the County’s official public-private economic development partnership, celebrated the impact of their 2019-2020 business development efforts at its 2020 Annual Meeting held virtually on Thursday, October 29th, and presented by Florida Power & Light in partnership with TD Bank. While the COVID-19 pandemic and other challenges have forced the nation – and the world – to reimagine the way it goes about day-to-day life, this year’s meeting was inspired by the many ways in which Miami’s businesses supported one another, demonstrated remarkable resiliency, and expanded to establish resources that will have a long-term positive impact on the local economy well beyond recovery.
At the close of 2019-2020 fiscal year, The Beacon Council had secured commitments from 34 companies looking to relocate or expand in Miami-Dade County. The organization also saw the second highest level of capital investment in its 35-year history – more than $772 million – and added 2,904 new direct jobs. The more than 3.7 million square feet of new development these projects will bring is setting another record, as it is the most for any one year for The Beacon Council. ThermoFisher, FrieslandCampina, Xtreme Aviation, Majority LLC, GenoSUR/7 Holdings Group (7HG)’s collaboration, and Chef’s Warehouse were among the new companies recognized in the meeting and honored with a Key to Miami-Dade County by Mayor Carlos Gimenez (download the 2020 report for full roster of projects).
“For 35 years, The Beacon Council has been a pivotal partner, helping recruit top companies and bringing thousands of new good-paying jobs to our County to strategically grow seven target areas, including technology, logistics, aviation, life sciences, international finance, creative industries, and hospitality,” Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez said. “Now more than ever, having The Beacon Council focus on driving jobs and investment to our community is essential to the successful recovery of our local economy.”
The Annual Meeting itself was a success, with more than 500 virtual attendees and keynote speakers including Miami-Dade County Mayor, The Honorable Carlos A. Gimenez; 2020-2021 Beacon Council Board Secretary Yolanda Cash Jackson, Becker; 2019-2020 Beacon Council Chair Hugo Castro, Equitable Advisors; 2020-2021 Beacon Council Chair Gary Goldfarb, Interport Logistics; and President and CEO of the Miami-Dade Beacon Council, Michael A. Finney. The event also featured the organization’s official change in leadership as this year’s Chair Hugo Castro, Executive Vice President/Co-Manager of Equitable Advisors’ South Florida Branch, passed the gavel to incoming Chair Gary Goldfarb, Chief Strategy Officer of Interport Group of Companies.
“It has certainly been a year like no other,” said Hugo Castro, Executive Vice President, Equitable Advisors South Florida Branch and 2019-2020 Chair of the Miami-Dade Beacon Council. “The continued investment in our community – with 34 new projects, hundreds of jobs retained and thousands of new jobs created – shows that all the work put into making Miami a thriving economic destination cannot be outdone by a single event, even one as impactful as the coronavirus pandemic.”
The highlight of the afternoon was the ability to clearly see the impact that The Beacon Council’s efforts to market, grow and shape Miami-Dade as an innovative, inclusive, world-class business destination is having on Miami’s local economy – development that is especially important given the current climate. In addition to the key performance indicators detailed above, the organization was able to demonstrate broad community reach to Urban Priority Areas, which saw 41% of the total projects for the year, 1,790 new direct jobs and more than $315 million in new capital investment.
“We are encouraged by the growth we’ve seen,” said Michael A. Finney, President and CEO of the Miami-Dade Beacon Council. “It shows that Miami has all the elements of a global city, with a strong foundation where businesses know they can build something that will endure for years to come. While circumstances have changed dramatically in the last year, the enthusiasm and confidence in our community has not waned. Our renewed appreciation for – and commitment to – our small business community, as well as our innovation and strength in key sectors like trade and logistics, life sciences and healthcare, and financial services, lead our business community to be well-positioned for a positive recovery. ”
In looking ahead to the next phase of recovery, the organization is also looking back to appreciate the milestones achieved in its 35-year history; updating The Beacon Council’s logo is part of that journey. “Our goal was not only to refresh the logo, but to create a stronger visual connection between Miami-Dade as a whole and The Beacon Council,” Maria Budet, Chief Marketing Officer of the Miami-Dade Beacon Council explained. “In working with our partners at VS/Brooks, we were able to evolve the logo in a way that we feel better represents the Miami-Dade that we are all working together to market, grow and shape today.”
“FPL believes that continuous innovation is the key to business success. Bringing innovators into our region ensures the economic prosperity and growth of our communities,” said Irene White, senior director of External Affairs for FPL. “We are proud to be members of the Beacon Council and congratulate the organization on its accomplishments, which now more than ever are vitally important to help move Miami-Dade County forward.”
Incoming Chair Gary Goldfarb noted that “prior to the pandemic, Miami-Dade County employment numbers were at their highest ever; logging in at below 2% unemployment. Not surprisingly, with the pandemic and subsequent closures, our numbers were affected, but the Miami-Dade Beacon Council’s team of professionals stepped up and established multiple recovery programs. As newly appointed Chair, I am confident our organization will continue to lead the way to getting our community’s economy back and better than ever.”