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County Annual Reports2018Economic Opportunities
Economic Opportunities
Values: Ensuring economic opportunities for Broward's diverse population and businesses

Broward County's chief economic engines are its airport, seaport and tourism. Growth in these revenue-generating enterprises is balanced with economic, environmental and community needs.

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL)

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) was one of the fastest growing large-hub airports in the U.S. in 2018. The airport had a total of 35.2 million passengers with an 11.4 percent increase. Total domestic traffic was 26.9 million passengers, up 8.6 percent. Total international traffic was 8.3 million passengers, up 21.6 percent. Total flight operations were 322,667, up 8.0 percent.

FLL launched the inaugural "I Bet You Didn't Know" Employee Art Exhibition with more than 40 works of art in the walkway connector between Terminals 3 and 4. The artwork showcases the creativity of employees to the millions of visitors to the airport.

BCAD awarded all the Residential Sound Insulation Program Groups and completed 724 properties (approximately 59 percent of 1,224 total homes). This program provides acoustical treatments designed to reduce aircraft noise in homes, including, but not limited to, upgrading windows, doors and ventilation systems to achieve a reduced interior noise level of 45 DNL (Day/Night average level of sound).

During the summer, briefings were held to update stakeholders and obtain their feedback on the advancing development plan. The Aviation Department held a workshop with the Board on May 15, 2018, and received approval on a preferred concept alternative, both from the Board and the airlines. Final recommendations and the Airport Layout Plan will be submitted to the Board for final approval before submission to the FAA in early 2019.

Port Everglades

Broward's Port Everglades is Florida's "powerhouse port" and one of the most diverse seaports in the United States. It remains the third busiest cruise port in the world, serving 3.8 million passengers in FY 2018, and is among the most active containerized cargo ports in the United States, reaching a record high this past fiscal year. It is also South Florida's main seaport for petroleum products such as gasoline and jet fuel. Total statewide economic activity generated by port operations remained consistent at approximately $30 billion. Port Everglades supports a total of 230,747 jobs in Florida.

Port Everglades entered a Memorandum of Understanding with the Port of Limón, Costa Rica, as part of its International Sister Seaport Program. Costa Rica is the Port's eighth largest trading partner by volume.

Horizon Terminal Services, LLC is driving more automotive business to Port Everglades with a new long-term lease on 8.67 acres where the company plans to invest $630,000 for a new auto processing facility that would create a minimum of 25 local direct jobs. Since Horizon's lease began in January 2018, nearly 30,000 automobiles have been shipped through Port Everglades.

During FY2018, construction began on the Southport Turning Notch Extension project, which will lengthen the existing deep-water turn-around area for cargo ships from approximately 900 feet to 2,400 feet and allow for up to five new cargo berths. The Port also substantially completed a $120 million-plus renovation of Cruise Terminal 25 that was completed in time for the arrival of Celebrity Cruises newest and most futuristic cruise ship, Celebrity Edge, which arrived in mid-November 2018

Produce importer Sol Shipping Services is growing its business at Port Everglades with approval of a five-year lease on 7-acre site. Sol's operations, primarily shipping melons from Central America to South Florida, are estimated to support 246 direct, induced and indirect jobs in the Broward County area, with a total annual wage and salary income impact of more than $16.3 million. In addition to the value of the cargo, local businesses will receive more than $22.5 million in sales revenue from providing services for the ocean cargo activity. Sol's cargo activity, guaranteeing at least 16,000 container moves annually, is also expected to generate nearly $1.7 million in state and local tax revenue.

The arts are sometimes referred to as the barometer of world culture, and public art may be an indicator of a community's culture.Broward County's Public Art & Design Program is an internationally-recognized, world class program, and listed among an ensemble of the world's finest public art. As a department of Broward County government, Port Everglades is among the many County agencies participating in this very important program. The 29 and growing works of art located throughout Port Everglades create a sense of place, that improves the visual environment for visitors, port users and residents.


Tourism in Broward County creates new jobs and contributes to our economic vitality. Approximately 14 million people a year visit Broward County and spend $11.4 billion in the local economy. Our 23 miles of Blue Wave beaches generate more than $548 million annually in economic activity.

The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau (GLFCVB) is committed to creating partnerships with the tourism industry, County agencies, municipalities and the business community, in support of ongoing improvements at the airport, seaport and Convention Center. The Convention Center, located adjacent to the Port, was carved out of the seaport's security zone, simplifying access for convention attendees. Plans to add 400,000 square feet of additional meeting space to the Convention Center and an 800-room headquarters hotel advanced. Broward County staff and the Matthews-Southwest design team present a new conceptual design for the project based on input from the Convention Center user community The new and improved Convention Center is expected to create 721 permanent, full-time jobs, increase annual spending of $100.6 million (in 2024 dollars) by delegates, exhibitors and event organizers, and result in more than $96 million in future annual tax revenues (in prevent value).

In support of the new convention center hotel and expansion, the GFLCVB developed a tiered incentive program to inspire bookings during the dates of construction.

In an ongoing effort to bring visitors to the Greater Fort Lauderdale area, The GFLCVB has launched a  brand perception and research study to identify the most powerful and best ways to market a "new" Greater Fort Lauderdale to a new generation of national and international visitors. This branding exercise will provide a framework to create a new brand architecture for Greater Fort Lauderdale embracing its open-door, open-heart policy for evolution and growth.

The CVB has embarked on a business strategy aligning with Destination International's Destination NEXT, a multi-phase strategic and transformational roadmap for future global destination marketing. working closely with community and civic leaders, hospitality partners, local businesses and residents to develop a new tourism vision and continue to engage all stakeholders in the success of the destination.

A new Experience Dedicated Destination program visitor satisfaction program,, was launched. This program works to engage partners, visitors and residents in all municipalities to provide feedback on their experiences and provide the opportunity to continue to improve the destination's services and amenities for all who enjoy Broward County.

Economic and Small Business Development

Economic priorities include the attraction and retention of all types of business, including small business and not-for-profits, through incentives, technical assistance and workforce development support provided through various community partnerships.

The Broward County Economic Development Partnership, which consists of Broward County, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance and 31 municipalities, coordinated efforts that resulted in the retention of nearly 3,000 jobs, recruitment of over 2,000 targeted industry jobs and attraction of capital investment of approximately $262 million.

The Office of Economic and Small Business Development hosted numerous events to promote business growth. Nations from around the world sent representatives to share information about business opportunities at the fourth annual Florida International Trade and Culture Expo, hosted in collaboration with community partners. High level government leaders, international trade experts, and delegations from over 52 countries came to meet Broward County businesses and exchange valuable information about business opportunities in their respective countries. The event attracted over 1,300 attendees.

The 3rd Annual Broward and Beyond Business Conference was held in May. The event provided attendees the opportunity to learn from industry experts and successful peers while examining existing lines of business and exploring unchartered prospects for success. Over 600 attendees comprised of startup, nonprofit, established and international business professionals, along with 69 speakers, 22 exhibitors, seven international delegations and representatives from Africa, Bahrain, Belize, China, Guyana, Haiti and the Middle East participated in the day-long event. In addition to the conference, OESBD conducted three Business Development Workshops with 232 participants and eleven Technical Assistance Training Sessions with 214 live and 170 virtual attendees. These programs help business owners and entrepreneurs to better position their enterprises by taking advantage of opportunities provided by, as well as grow their businesses beyond, Broward County.

Broward County's Entrepreneur Development Program continues to grow. Broward County successfully graduated 15 attendees from its 4th Kauffman FastTrac® NewVenture™ Business Plan Development class, bringing the total to 54 graduates from the 10-module course since its inception in January of 2016. A total of 36 graduates have completed business plans and since June of 2013; the program has provided support to over 450 aspiring entrepreneurs.

The County's Small Business Program processed over 132 firms for new certification.

Broward County launched TEAMUP Broward, the Mentor-Protégé Pilot Program on March 1, 2018, with an Orientation Session for its inaugural class of six mentors and eight protégé firms.