Long associated with tourism, the Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall metropolitan area has an economy that expands way beyond tourism. The Miami area is home to many Fortune 1000 company headquarters. The largest company headquartered in the Miami area is Lennar. Probably the most famous company with their headquarters in the area is Ryder System.
Because of its proximity to Central and South America, Miami is the headquarters for the Latin American operations of many major corporations, including American Airlines, Cisco, Disney, Exxon, FedEx, Microsoft, Oracle, SBC Communications and Sony. For similar reasons, Miami is also a major financial center. The Miami area has over 150 financial institutions, the largest concentration of banks south of New York City.
According to the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, aproximately 60% of all U.S. trade with Central America flows though Miami, 46% of Caribbean trade, and 27% of trade with South America.
Miami is one of eleven U.S. global cities (world city or world-class city). The Globalization and World Cities Study Group & Network ranks cities in three tiers, alpha, beta, and gamma (from the highest tier to the third tier). Miami is ranked a "Gamma World City" by the Globalization and World Cities Study Group & Network, on a par with Atlanta, and Minneapolis.
Business honors and awards received by the Miami area include:
- The Miami area ranked 35th among the 50 top large U.S. cities on Entrepreneur magazine's 2005 list of "Hot Cities for Entrepreneurs".
- The Miami area ranked 26th on Expansion Management magazine's list of "America's 50 Hottest Cities".
- The Miami metropolitan area has ranked 18th among U.S. Cities in the large cities category on Inc. magazine's 2006 list of "Best Cities for Doing Business". Miami has been ranked in the top thirty for all three years of the survey (2004-2006).
- In a 2005 study done by the Milikin Institute, the Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall area was ranked 73rd among two hundred U.S. cities as a "2005 Best Performing Cities - 200 Largest Metros".
Major industries in the Miami area include:
- Financial services
- International trade
The Port of Miami is known as the "cruise ship capital of the world". It is also one of the busiest cargo ports in the United States. It is the second largest port in terms of tonnage to and from Latin America.
For the business traveler, the Miami area is served by the Miami International Airport (MIA). MIA has the third largest international passenger traffic in the United States. The Miami area is also served by the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL), which is one of the fastest growing airports in the United States and ranked 23rd in terms of passenger volume.
Companies with headquarters in the Miami area include:
- Burger King
- Carnival Cruise Lines
- Citrix Systems
- Norwegian Cruise Lines
- Ryder System
- Ryder Systems
- World Fuel Services
Government, at the county (Miami-Dade), federal, and state level are the largest employers in the Miami area. The largest private employers include Baptist Health South Florida, the University of Miami, American Airlines, United Parcel Service, and BellSouth.
Business and trade organizations and associations in the Miami area include:
- The Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce
- The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB)
- The Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce
The Daily Business Review, South Florida CEO the "Business Section" of the Miami Herald, and the "Business Section" of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel are all good sources of information on the business community in the Miami area.