Entrepreneurialism in the Gables – The Great Revitalization 

The Spirit of Entrepreneurialism Is at the Heart of Coral Gables, Especially as We Emerge From Covid 

For the better part of two years, our world has lived in a state of uncertainty and prolonged heartache. We have endured, as a global community, a culture of fear and loss unprecedented in our lifetimes. 

And to lose over 800,000 Americans to this pandemic (and more than 5.3 million souls worldwide) is unfathomable. It simply does not compute. Neither do the ancillary effects of COVID-19: supply chain challenges, advancing inflation, and workplace woes related to the Great Resignation. Yet, here we are, living in Florida and experiencing an economic revitalization like no other state. We are setting the pace and enjoying the fruits of our labors. 

Not that prosperity has come to all in one fell swoop. There are still significant issues, especially rising costs, access to products, and employment of human capital. Business may be booming, but it is not uniform across all industries. There are still many obstacles to overcome. 

Mark A. Trowbridge  - Entrepreneurialism in Gables

However, the Great Revitalization we are experiencing in our local economy is buoyed by several factors. High among them is that we live in a paradise which allows us to be outdoors year-round (and to operate our businesses in much the same manner). Indeed, people are flocking to Florida from around the U.S. at a pace of nearly 900 a day. More than 330,000 people moved to Florida between April 2020 and April 2021 – half of them from Texas, New York, and California. Those are heady numbers. 

We all know why we love living here. In this latest issue, our friends at Coral Gables Magazine help further illuminate the “why” of the great revitalization here in the Gables. It begins with the idea of entrepreneurialism, something that’s been part of our business community’s DNA since George Merrick first laid his eyes on the tract of land now known as The City Beautiful. 

Merrick was not only a developer and planner; he was a man with extraordinary vision and chutzpah. He possessed all the accoutrements of an entrepreneur: risk taker, dreamer, empire builder, evangelist, and promotional genius. He hired the best of the best to help him craft and create his vision. Like most, he had setbacks and failures. But today we live in an idyllic place where those with their own imaginings are encouraged to catch fire with the same heat and intensity as Merrick. 

At our core, we are a community of small businesses – always have been – many of which started in the same way as Merrick envisioned Coral Gables: A dream cobbled into an idea, then forged into a plan. Take a walk down Miracle Mile or across Giralda Plaza as the New Year dawns. You will see this spirit of entrepreneurialism on display everywhere. From the owner of a burger place that flourished during COVID by serving frontline workers, to the coffee shop that turned their outdoor seating into a gathering post, there is a story on every street in The City Beautiful. 

So, here’s to the dreamers, creators, and makers in our community – all entrepreneurs in their own right, and all essential to our economic recovery and revitalization. 

By: Mark Trowbridge