If we want to create a Miami that’s here forever, and that’s here for everyone, then we’ve got to invest in the kinds of industries that will be around for tomorrow.

Mayor Francis X. Suarez

Innovation and a knowledge-based economy have to be at the forefront of industry in every city in the world. In Miami, we’re doing as much as possible to foster innovation, starting with the government itself. In the U.S., we’re number one for job creation, for startups, and for small-business growth. We’re number five in the nation in population growth. To sustain these accomplishments, I’m working to ensure the government provides a wealth of resources and does not become an obstacle to our entrepreneurs and growing businesses.

One way we’re doing so is with the City’s Electronic Plan Review (ePlan). It allows residents, contractors, and developers to do everything they need to submit a permit or a plan entirely online—even from their cell phones. Residents can start their businesses online instantly and affordably. In addition, we’ve created a favorable tax environment by lowering taxes to the second-lowest level in 55 years.

Of equal importance is the way we’re supporting our innovation community.

Under my administration and alongside Miami’s commissioners, we have supported organizations committed to promoting entrepreneurial growth including eMerge Americas, 500 Startups, and Miami WIN Lab. We’re doing everything we can in the City to support scale-ups and tech businesses as well that are propelling us into the future. One of our latest initiatives, revealed at the Endeavor Miami 2019 Gala, reflects this commitment. If we want to create a Miami that’s here forever, and that’s here for everyone, then we’ve got to invest in the kinds of industries that will be around for tomorrow.

Today, because of technology and the fluidity of capital, people can live where they want to live instead of following an industry to its origin. They don’t have to be in New York to get into stocks, and they don’t have to be in Silicon Valley to get into tech. When people can choose, why wouldn’t they choose Miami? There’s a reason that Amazon listed us in the Top 20 cities under consideration for its HQ2. We’re famous for our weather, but what many don’t know is that we punch above our weight; there are only about 600,000 people in the city proper, about 2.8 million in the county, and about 6 million in the tri-county region. We’re much less populated than people think—but that has not stopped Miami from being named one of the top upcoming tech startup markets by Sound Ventures.

Others are starting to see what we in Miami already know: the city is a perfect place for entrepreneurs. From a governmental commitment to supporting a culture of innovation to our excellent coworking spaces, any company looking to grow will be at home here. And if you need help or advice on starting a business, please reach out to me through email or on social media. Really. (Someone asked me once if by saying that, I meant for them to reach out to me every time there was a new building development in the city, and I said, “YES.”) I’m here for local business owners to pick my brain. I work for them.

Miami offers access to so many different parts of the world, not just to Latin America. We can be a global entry and launching point—and we are on our way. To bolster this aspect of Miami, I’ve created the Mayor’s Council on Global Competitiveness. If setting up Miami to be a stronger global competitor is as important to you as it is to me, then please reach out. I look forward to working with you.

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