South Florida’s allure in 2022 made Miami-Dade’s business openings among best in U.S.

South Florida’s allure in 2022 made Miami-Dade’s business openings among best in U.S.

South Florida added thousands of new businesses in 2022, placing the region in the top three metropolitan areas nationwide for openings in everything from retailers to law offices.

With a population boom, the Miami metro area recorded 20,572 new openings — third most in the country — up 14% from 17,971 openings in 2021, according to a survey by Yelp, the online review platform.

Yelp based its rankings on the number of new business listings in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. As a result, South Florida was behind only Los Angeles and New York City for the most business growth last year.

“As remote work has changed where people live across the country, Miami has been a known hot spot for remote employees and their families who previously lived in more densely populated cities and traditional business centers,” said Richard Maraschi, head of data science at Yelp. “This is further demonstrated by the increase in housing and local services businesses the city has seen since 2019 – as more people move to Miami, these services are in high demand.”

Other Florida metro areas also experienced a high volume of new businesses in 2022. After South Florida, Tampa and Orlando saw the most activity, with 9,419 openings and 8,303 openings, respectively. As a whole, Florida had a total of 63,519 new businesses, which also placed it behind California and Texas nationwide.

The upward trajectory of business growth in South Florida began in 2021 with the tidal wave of small business and corporate expansions and activity picked up last year. Largely drawn by lower state taxes, weather and the region’s population growth, businesses opened offices across the region last year, including international law firm Winston & Strawn in downtown Miami, Amazon in Coral Gables and photo and editing app Picsart in Miami Beach.

More businesses – from independently owned shops and restaurants to large corporations – plan to open a new base here this year. Shops and restaurants cluster in all corners of Miami-Dade, including Brickell City Center, Coral Gables and Sunrise.

In fact, James Kohnstamm, executive vice president of economic development at Miami-Dade Beacon Council, predicted as many business openings this year, or more, as in 2022. Kohnstamm said his agency has already recruited nearly 60 new companies expected to open a brick-and-mortar location or office this year in Miami-Dade. One factor keeping this tidal wave of business growth going in South Florida? International companies now want to expand, no longer constrained by pandemic travel restrictions or closed borders.

“Miami continues to grow in overall population and number of businesses. Our housing market is still in high demand. All the indicators show that demand still remains high, and we are not seeing returns to where people moved from,” said Kohnstamm. “I do think it will be maintained at least for the next year and the next, because some of that demand is still being created. It’s now structural. Miami is in a different place.”

Still, Jeffrey Havsy, a Moody’s Analytics economist, said gray clouds loom over the region’s prosperity, with a potential US recession and rising interest rates slowing consumer spending nationwide. Consumer spending accounts for two-thirds of the country’s economy.

Much of the retail sector will be particularly vulnerable, said Holly Cohen of the Holly Cohen Retail Advisory Services and president-elect of the Miami chapter of the professional commercial real estate organization Commercial Real Estate Women Network.

Besides experiential retail, such as Puttshack indoor mini-golf, bar and restaurant that recently opened in Brickell, beauty services and restaurants, Cohen said, “We may see a lot of turnover for those who can’t make it.”

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