Business in Miami bullish, says Beacon Council survey
Miami-Dade County businesses are far more bullish on their own growth prospects and those of the county for 2001 than they are for the nation's economy as a whole, a Beacon Council survey indicates.
Of 220 firms surveyed, 66% expect their sales in 2001 to rise, 64% expect higher profits than in 2000, and 45% expect to employ more workers next year.
Just 18% expect their sales to fall, 20% expect their profits to fall and 3% expect to employ fewer people than this year, the public-private development partnership reported at its economic forecast lunch Friday.
For the county's economy, 47% expect more growth next year, 16% less growth. For the nation, expectations are far lower 37% expect more growth, 33% less.
"I think that if you had taken this survey several years ago the results would have been quite different," said Frank Nero, council president.
He pointed particularly to a question asking businesses to cite the most important local issue affecting business. No. 1 was workforce and education, chosen by 16% and cited repeatedly at council meetings as a potential impediment to growth. Government was cited by 14%, transportation by 13.5%.
By contrast, the least mentioned would have been top ranked a few years back, Mr. Nero noted crime, cited by just 4.5% as the key concern.
Projecting new plant investment, 25% of firms said they would invest more in 2001, 6% said less. For equipment investment, 46% forecast higher spending in their firms, 5% less.
The Beacon Council issued a single warning in interpreting the results:
"Attention should be paid," the council said, "to the lag in profitability, reflected in faster growing sales than profits, and to the recurring issues facing Miami-Dade County that negatively impact economic development."