The Sun Sentinel newspaper published on Sunday (17) an extensive article about the increased presence of the Brazilian community in the region of the three most important counties in South Florida, Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach. The newspaper called ‘Brazilian Boom’ the real commercial invasion that Brazilian companies, attracted by the prosperity of the community, have been promoting in the region.
According to Sun Sentinel, companies find fertile ground here due to the hundreds of thousands of South American residents, many of them Brazilian and familiar with Brazilian products and brands.
Among those who have recently arrived, the newspaper cites, are banks, restaurants and airlines. Azul Linhas Aéreas, led by the founder of the American company JetBlue, intends to establish a strong presence at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood international airport as of December, when it starts its first flight connecting Brazil and the United States.
But the biggest recent initiative was that of Banco do Brasil, the largest bank in Latin America, with a net worth of more than $ 600 billion, which places it among the 40 largest banks in the world.
In 2011, Banco do Brasil bought a small South Florida bank and today it already has four branches – in Miami, Pompano Beach and two in Boca Raton. The plan is to open five more branches this year, including one at Lighthouse Point.
“Our starting point is the Brazilian community,” said Antonio Cassio Segura, president and CEO of Banco do Brasil Americas to Sun-Sentinel. “After it, we are open to everyone. We want to be a local bank. ”
Another company with a strong presence, the restaurant chain The Shrimp House opened its first branch in Coral Springs in December and today it already operates in four locations, one of them inside the Town Center shopping center in Boca Raton. The chain plans to open one more at Sawgrass Mills this fall, as part of its plan to establish itself with 30 restaurants across Florida.
The focus on the Brazilian community in the state “is a great way to start,” Carlo Barbieri, of the Oxford Group, a consulting firm that has helped Shrimp House and other Brazilian companies to enter the American market, told Sun-Sentinel.
Other restaurant chains follow suit, such as Giraffa’s Kitchen & Grill, which already has a dozen branches across the state, and the refined Coco Bambu, which plans to open a point in Miami Beach.
One of the reasons for this investment boom may be the fact that the last American census showed that the number of Brazilians in South Florida increased by 65% between 2000 and 2012, having almost quadrupled in Palm Beach.
The Census ’American Community Survey estimates that there are 39,000 Brazilians in the region. Community and business leaders, however, say the number is underestimated, because the samples are small and the response rate to the Census is small. The number could reach 200,000 in South Florida and 300,000 across the state, including a large concentration in the Orlando area.
“It is a strong trend,” business consultant Aloysio Vasconcellos of the Westchester Financial Group, based in Boca Raton, told Sun Sentinel. “This trend is to see more and more Brazilian companies coming here and more qualified and well-educated Brazilians investing in Florida.”