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While there are increased worries about a recession at the national level, the economy remains in excellent shape in Florida.

There are some signs of concern of course–including recent estimates that the state government will bring in around $867 million less in revenue than expected over the next two years–but mostly things are looking up in the Sunshine State.

Last month, unemployment in Florida slipped from 3.4 percent to 3.3 percent, well below the national average of 3.7 percent. Jobs continue to grow at a 2.8 percent rate in Florida, above the national average of 1.8 percent.

Tourism also continues to boom in Florida with Gov. Ron DeSantis announcing last week that a record-high 68.9 million tourists visited the state in the first half of the year.

The Florida Realtors just announced that single-family home sales were up 10.4 percent last month when compared to July 2018.

Now, this could all head south of course. Florida’s economy continues to rely heavily on tourism and real estate, two industries that often take major hits in an economic downturn–as the Sunshine State can attest from the damage it took during the Great Recession.  Continued trade tensions with China could impact logistics and agriculture.

Thanks in large part to efforts from former Governor and now U.S. Sen. Rick Scott and current Governor Ron DeSantis, Florida continues to have a strong business and tax climate which continues to attract new residents and businesses. Even as the nation experiences increased worries about a downturn, for the moment at least, the economy remains in good shape in Florida.

 

Source: Florida Daily

The City of Hollywood is working to develop and expand targeted industries to become more successful, resulting in higher paying jobs and ultimately more money for the City.

Health Care

Memorial Healthcare System, one of the largest in the nation and it is continuing to grow.  Memorial Regional Hospital is the flagship facility of this system. It offers extensive and diverse health care services that include Memorial Cardiac and Vascular Institute featuring renowned surgeons, Memorial Cancer Institute and Memorial Neuroscience Institute providing innovative technology.

There is Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital at Memorial, one of the region’s leading pediatric hospitals. It offers a comprehensive scope of healthcare services and programs in a child-friendly atmosphere. It is a full-service hospital and offers treatment for minor illnesses, trauma-related accidents, and complex medical conditions. It combines advanced technology and the expertise of a large group of board-certified pediatric specialists. The hospital has 226 beds.

Tourism

Tourism and hospitality is another major objective. The Diplomat Beach Resort has completed major renovations and offers many high-end restaurants and amenities. The Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort offers fine dining a high-quality hotel, a beautiful pool, and other amenities. And there are other hotels located at Hollywood Beach and throughout the city.

Aerospace and Aviation

Hollywood is home to HEICO Corporation, is a top manufacturer of aerospace, industrial, defense and electronics products. They make products that are found on commercial airplanes, military aircraft, industrial turbines, targeting systems, and missiles. HEICO operates in two segments, the Flight Support, and Electronic Technologies Group.

And there is Quiet Technology Aerospace which recently moved into a 30,000 square foot facility. This company performs repair work for aviation. It is a market leader in the application of advanced composites for noise attenuation and structures.

The Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport is one of the fastest growing airports in the nation. Major developments are underway and new destinations are being added.

Marine Technology

Marine technology is another major industry for Hollywood. Most of Port Everglades is in Hollywood. Each cruise ship that comes to the port brings thousands of passengers. And there is more development taking place with cruise terminals.

A major expansion project at the port will allow larger freight ships to come to the port and all this means more people and money coming into HollywoodQuantum Marine Engineering of Florida is a leader in producing stabilization technology for yachts. The company is operating in Hollywood. There are many other businesses that are prospering in the marine industry. Nova Southeastern University is operating an Oceanographic Center in Hollywood for various research programs.

Education and Technology

In the area of education and technology, Barry University recently opened a health sciences building in Hollywood, adding to a number of high-quality private schools, charter schools and public schools in the city.

And there are many other thriving businesses in the City. Chewy.com has a location in the City. In addition to developing these key industries, small businesses throughout the city are thriving and offering career opportunities for residents.

 

Source: Hollywood Gazette

Meet the new year, same as the old year. Or maybe better.

Palm Beach County’s economy is expected to continue its strong growth, as the year wrapped up with a still-booming real estate market, combined with continued business growth in the area.

President Donald Trump’s part-time residence at his Mar-a-Lago mansion on Palm Beach has drawn attention to the county both as a business and tourist destination. But even prior to Trump’s January inauguration, the county already was flush with new hotel construction geared to the rise in tourism.

“The county’s newest hotel, the Hilton at the Palm Beach County Convention Center, had a strong first with 85 percent occupancy,” according to Ken Himmel, president of Related Urban, the hotel’s developer.

More hotels are under construction, including an Aloft Hotel in Delray Beach and a Canopy Hotel in West Palm Beach. Tourism wasn’t the county’s only booming field.

“The past 12 months saw growth in a variety of industries,” said Kelly Smallridge, president of the Business Development Board, the county’s business recruitment arm.

Among the companies growing are Bee Access, a scaffolding manufacturer in West Palm Beach; Jupiter-based Parametric Solutions, which engineers and makes gas turbine engines for aircraft and industrial power applications; and GeoGlobal Partners, which designs and makes pumps and valves in West Palm Beach.

“We’re one of the rare counties that has six to eight solid industries,” Smallridge said, ticking off manufacturing, equestrian, tourism, agribusiness, financial services, corporate headquarters and distribution and logistics.

Another growing area: Companies run by entrepreneurs. Moderning Medicine, a Boca Raton-based medical records firm and one of the fastest-growing technology companies in South Florida, said in 2017 it plans to hire 800 people, in addition to the more than 500 it already employs.

Helping boost more corporate growth in the coming year: The Brightline passenger train, slated to start regular service in the coming weeks.

“Companies already are saying they feel more comfortable opening offices in Palm Beach County because they know they can pull employees from Broward or Miami-Dade counties,” Smallridge said.

Of course, the biggest driver of Palm Beach County remains real estate. Growth, particularly in the housing market, was hot in 2017 and will remain so in 2018, experts say. This is despite the lengthy real estate boom that now is stretching into its eighth year.

Housing analyst Jack McCabe said he expected to see a market correction on the horizon, but he now thinks a slowdown will be delayed by the the tax legislation passed by Congress. The sweeping tax law limits deductions for state and local taxes.

“This is bad news for residents in such high-tax states as New Jersey and New York but good news for Florida, which has no state income tax and already is a destination for residents from the Northeast,” said McCabe, of McCabe Consulting in Deerfield Beach.

It’s not just the housing market that will get a boost from the tax bill, business leaders said.

“Executives already have been making inquiries about bringing their companies to Palm Beach County,” Smallridge said. “We’ve seen 20 plus calls over the last month. There’s already a steady stream of inquiries by companies seeking to relocate. Among them are corporate headquarters and financial services firms out of Manhattan, Boston, Greenwich and even Chicago. Tax attorneys in the Northeast are hard at work figuring out how to domicile companies in Florida.

If they consider moving companies, corporate leaders will find rental housing available but for-sale homes difficult to find. That’s because there’s been little new home construction during the past decade.

“Homeowners are staying in their homes longer, prompting a number of residents to remodel existing homes,” said Brad Hunter, chief economist of HomeAdvisor, which connects homeowners with local service professionals to complete home improvement or remodeling jobs.

Although new apartment complexes are cropping up throughout the county, many come with rents that can reach nearly $2,000 a month or more.

“It’s very tough for people to rent right now, and if they do, it’s hard to save up for any down payment for a home,” McCabe said.

Among the new apartment complexes that opened in 2017: The 400-unit Altis apartments in Boca Raton; the 205-unit apartment tower dubbed The Alexander in West Palm Beach. Other projects commenced construction, including the 315-unit Broadstone City Center and the 290-unit Park-Line in West Palm Beach, both of which are expected to attract renters who may use the Brightline train station nearby.

High land prices have made it difficult for home developers to find locations to build. Some are turning to infill sites, such as golf courses, for new homes, while others are looking west. In July, Minto Communities started construction on Westlake, a newly-created city set to contain 4,500 new homes. The city is off Seminole Pratt Whitney Road north of Okeechobee Boulevard.

Also in demand are new offices and industrial space. But both are hard to find, said Rebel Cook of Rebel Cook Real Estate and president of the Economic Forum, a business group.

“Industrial space, particularly small sizes, is virtually impossible to find, crimping growth by companies that want to expand their businesses here,” said Cook. “If you’re a growing company and you want to go from 5,000 to 10,000 square feet, I can’t find you anything here. This is the first time in 35 years of selling warehouses that I don’t have one warehouse for sale. Not one.”

New offices could be coming to West Palm Beach but not right away. In early 2018, The Related Cos. of New York is expected to propose construction of an urban-style office building next to CityPlace in West Palm Beach. In addition, billionaire Palm Beach investor Jeff Greene has pledged he will start construction on One West Palm, a twin-tower office/hotel/housing complex set for 550 Quadrille Blvd. in West Palm Beach.

 

Source: Palm Beach Post