Change agents New opportunities will benefit local residents and businesses
By Alexander Heckler
Founder & Managing Partner – LSN Partners
How are cities changing and where do you see opportunities?
Looking at downtown areas across the United States) whether you are looking at Fort Lauderdale) Miami) Portland, Los Angeles, or Chicago, the recent impacts of COVID-19 are different based on the location. South Florida (Miami and Fort Lauderdale) has become a haven for “COVID refugees,” CEOs and their businesses. Both the office and residential (multifamily) sectors are among the hottest in the nation. It started when Miami Mayor Francis Suarez purchased a billboard in San Francisco asking people to “direct message” him if they want to move to Miami. At first, everybody dismissed it; but; I have met at least 10 new South Florida residents that directly communicated with Mayor Suarez. People and businesses are moving. Mayors Udine and Trantalis are effectuating the same positive change in Broward County and Fort Lauderdale. The opportunities in the Greater Fort Lauderdale area and the Greater Miami area are incredible) to the benefit of our local residents and businesses. It is a very exciting time for the 954 and the 305! Our economy is flourishing.
What does leadership mean to the economy and the community?
Leadership is vital in building an economy and the community. The public and private sectors both play a significant role. In March, April and May 2020 more people lost their jobs than in any period since the Great Depression. When that happened) our federal) state and local elected officials stepped up to provide assistance, as did many individuals and corporations from the private sector. Many of our clients and friends started or contributed to feeding programs or financial literacy education programs. They stepped up to support the communities where they live and operate. The public and private sectors both came through to help people in need during tough times. Today, both our local economy and South Florida communities are stronger and more resilient than ever. Personally, it was encouraging and exciting to see the private sector and public sector come together to satisfy the community’s needs.
Is there any legislation that you are following?
The recently enacted infrastructure bill is the most important legislation in a generation. It will transform our economy by upgrading our nation’s roads, bridges, water and sewer pipes, public transit, among other vital assets. The $1. 7 trillion for infrastructure will also stimulate the economy and create jobs.
Florida would expect to receive approximately $13.3 billion over five years in Federal highway formula funding for highways and bridges. On an average annual basis, this is about 26% more than the State’s Federal-aid highway formula funding under current law. Florida can also compete for the $12.5 billion Bridge Investment Program for economically significant bridges and $15 billion of national funding in the law dedicated to megaprojects that will deliver substantial economic benefits to communities. Florida can expect to receive approximately $320 million over five years in formula funding to reduce transportation-related emissions, in addition to about $364 million over five years to increase the resilience of its transportation system. States may also apply federal aid dollars toward climate resilience and safety projects.