THE JOURNAL JULY ‘08 ISSUE 4 Lights, Camera, Four local business Action owners receive CRP Grant By Cynthia Perry Commissioner Moss gets businesses noticed Tool For Change Four local business owners received a grant toBy Nakia Bowling rehabilitate their buildings through Miami-DadeEditor County, Office of Community and Economic De- If you are a small business in Miami- velopment, Commercial Revitalization ProgramDade County, chances are, you’ve heard (CRP).about the Mom and Pop Small Business NANA/ Tools For Change provides technicalGrant Program. assistance and manages these projects. The busi- Since 1999 the Small Business Program nesses include Hall, Ferguson and Hewitt Mortu-has been giving small businesses a real op- ary, P.A.; Prince Lawnmower Sales and Service;portunity to succeed. District 9 Miami- Public Allie and Rudy’s Stereo Tape Service.Dade County Commissioner Dennis C. CRP is designed to improve the physical andMoss wanted to expand that opportunity. economic condition of commercial areas in low and Moss initiated a resolution to the Board of County Commis- moderate income neighborhoods. The programsioners to have businesses in each district who received the grant makes available grants up to a maximum of $to be highlighted on the County’s TV on Demand. The resolu- 100,000 to qualified business owners and mer-tion passed. chants to rehabilitate the exterior of their commer- People who visit the Miami-Dade County cial buildings. Cont. Pg. 2 Inside this issue:Commissioner Audrey M. Edmonsonhosts affordable housing press conference Eco Finances 2Special to the Journal Mayor’s Visit 3Commissioner Audrey M. Edmonson joined MayorCarlos Alvarez at a press conference on Thursday,June 12 at Lafayette Plaza Apartments, an afford- ECP Business 3able housing project completed in Little Haiti. The Seminarpress conference confirmed Commissioner Edmon-sons commitment to supporting affordable housing Business Spotlight 4in Miami-Dade County and her own district."Homeownership is a goal many residents are un- Monthly Calendar 4able to achieve because present home prices are beyond their budgetary means," saidCommissioner Edmonson. "Affordable housing projects like Lafayatte Plaza make itpossible to purchase a home that fits their budget." Capitol Crunch on 5 Black BusinessesAccording to Mayor Alvarez, Miami-Dade County has dedicated more than $150 mil-lion of surtax monies for developments over the past ten years, totaling more than11,000 apartments and homes for low and moderate income families. An additional The Journal
Five ways to green your financesBy Nakia BowlingEditorPay Your Bills OnlinePaying your bills on the Web will help cut down on paper and is quick and easy. Also, request that your bank and otherbusinesses send you online statements. According to the National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA), byswitching to electronic bills and statements and making online payments, the averageAmerican household can conserve 6.6 pounds of paper annually. If you’d rather usechecks, you can purchase those made from recycled paper. Bank of America, WellsFargo, and other financial institutions offer the option to purchase eco-friendlychecks.Buy a ScannerScanning important documents onto your computer will cut down on paper and clut-ter, as well as help to keep you organized. Special scanners, such as the Neat Receiptsmodel, www.neatreceipts.com, will allow you to scan and organize important receiptsand bills that you may need to retain.Use Banks that Follow the Equator PrinciplesInquire whether or not your bank adheres to the Equator Principles, a set of environmental and social standards devel-oped by the World Bank Group. Followed by banks and financial institutions, these principles encourage the financing ofdevelopment projects that are socially and environmentally responsible.Patronize a Green BankGreen banking" describes any financial institution that has incorporated an eco-friendly outlook into its business model.Chase opened a green bank branch in Denver, and Wachovia has plans to open 300 green banking institutions by 2010Invest in Green CompaniesInvest in your community and companies whose products and services are not detrimental to the environment or society.According to the Social Investment Forum (www.socialinvest.org), an association dedicated to advancing the practiceand growth of socially and environmentally responsible investing, this form of investment comprises $2.3 trillion dollarsin the U.S. alone. Small businesses get a chance to shine on County’s On Demand Cont. from Pg. 1 Lights, Camera, Action programming on the latest Board of County Commissioner Meeting, committee meeting, county TV shoes and now features on small businesses that have received funding from the Mom and Pop Small Business grant program. It is estimated that the county receives over 20,000 web visitors per day. The exposure that these small businesses can receive from web visitors are endless, according to Leroy Jones, Executive Director of Neighbors And Neighbors Association and the man responsible for the creation of the program. “This is a great opportunity for Mom and Pop businesses. People from all over the world who may be visiting the county’s website can learn about these businesses,” said Jones. “ This is a sure way to level the playing field. The business owners get free advertising and exposure. It’s a great thing.” The features are pretty in-depth. A county reporter goes out to the businesses and interviews them, cap- tures them at work and gives a detailed explanation of what the business does. The entire segment is about 5 to 10 minutes long. If you would like to see one of the many businesses that have received a Mom and Pop grant, log on to www.miamidade.gov and click on the Watch It! On Demand link. Page 2 THE JOURNAL The Journal
County Mayor visits Mom and Pop businesses Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez took time out of his busy schedule to visit with recipient busi- nesses of the Mom and Pop Small Business Grant Program. Mayor Alvarez saw first hand how the grant money helped businesses in the county. The Mayor visited 18 businesses Mayor Alvarez and Bernice Morris Mayor Alvarez takes a moment withMayor Alvarez and Commissioner Audrey of Commissioner Dorrin Rolle atEdmonson visits Kwon Jae HWA Taekwon-do Hudson Protection Service, Inc. Prince Lawn Mower Service & Sales It’s all smiles when Mayor Alvarez Kids and owners of Watch Me Grow visits Accurate Battery Corp. Commission Edmonson along with Mayor Learning Center meet Mayor Alvarez Alvarez visits Royalty Insurance Services and Commissioner Bruno Barreiro By Arthur “Doc” Blair NANA Special Projects Coordinator There were no free cash give-aways or gold bars handed out, but the advice, 1-on- 1 counseling and information that was freely given was worth..”millions.” Jungle Island was the place and May 5th, 2008 was the date for start-up business entrepreneurs and veteran business owners to assemble and literally take “note”. NANA business Coordinator Elia Perez- Whether by pen, pencil or laptop; this was Aryan gets down to business with a business the time and the place to garner and gather owner. the tools, skills and techniques to either create or expand your business enterprise. The event, the 2nd of its kind, was organized and produced by the newly formed, Economic Community Partnership; a locally formed group of Business, Govern- ment and Community based organizations that are dedicated to improving and en- hancing the profitability opportunities for start-up and existing businesses in the Miami-Dade county area. Volume, 1 Issue 2 Page 3 The Journal
USINESS SPOTLIGHT Capital Crunch for Black Businesses By Nakia Bowling Editor Prince Lawn Mower Service & Sales A Federal Reserve report released this month under- 8195 NW 17th Avenue, Miami, FL scores the increasing difficulty that small business owners are Tel: 305-693-0221 facing in securing loans during the current economic climate. It is a reality that has both African American entrepreneurs and legislators looking for solutions. What started out as a one person business “On average, it’s difficult for black business owners toover 20 years ago has grown into a booming get access to capital but when we have downturns in the econ-company boasting five employees and a client omy it becomes especially hard,” says Reginald Gates, presidentlist to be reckoned with. of the Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce. Without access to Prince Lawn Mower Services and Sales capital, entrepreneurs are finding it difficult to expand and evenis a cut above the rest. The family business is compete for some contracts that require business owners to haverun by Velius Prince and his two sons Jody and a designated amount of funds ready and available to perform theJ. Prince The business started out as a small work, Gates says.lawn service, making small repairs and selling The Fed’s April 2008 Senior Loan Officer Opinion Sur-minor equipment. The company now holds ma- vey on Bank Lending Practices, based on responses from 56jor contracts with Miami-Dade County and are banks in the United States and 21 U.S. branches of foreignlooking to secure additional contracts with the banks, found that about 55% of domestic banks had tightenedState of Florida and the City of Miami. lending standards for commercial and industrial loans in the last “We want to be bigger than our competi- quarter. Likewise, 50% of survey respondents acknowledgedtion. We want to sell more and secure more ma- tightening lending standards on loans made to small firms—jor contracts,” said Jody. “We are doing big companies with sales of less than $50 million.things.” The economic uncertainties being faced by small busi- Bigger and better is definitely the theme nesses has members of Congress taking notice. Even before theof the business, especially with their newly ac- Fed report, Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), chairman of the Com-quired building of over 1300 sq. ft. where they mittee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, introduced thesell everything from commercial tractors to lawn Small Business Lending Stimulus Act in February. The billchemical treatment. So the next time you are in would reduce fees for borrowers and lenders and is designed toneed of lawn service or equipment stop by the entice banks to offer Small Business Administration-backedlocal business that’s a cut above the rest—Prince loans. The bill also would increase funding for microloans—Lawn Mower Service & Sales. loans up to a maximum of $35,000—which proportionately benefit underserved communities, including women and minori- MARK YOUR CALENDARS ties, more than traditional loan programs, Kerry says. “Our economy works best when our small businesses6/1: Miami-Dade County is streamlining the are diverse and creating jobs. Up to 60% of our banks haveprocess for accepting bids and proposals by made it harder and more expensive to get loans and even therequiring vendor affidavits only once - at the SBA’s lenders are pulling back, which compounds the problemtime of vendor registration. because SBA loans are an important source of capital for under- served communities,” Kerry adds.6/4: The Mayor’s Workshop for CommunityBased Organizations—8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. atWest dade Regional Library—9445 Coral Way. Neighbors And Neighbors Association6/11: The Mayor’s Career & Opportunity 180 NW 62nd StreetExpo—10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Signature Miami, FL 33150Grands—12725 SW 122nd Ave. Tel: 305-756-0605Calling All Small Business OwnersIf would like information about contracting op- Fax: 305-756-6008portunities with Miami-Dade County call 305-375-3111 and someone from The Departmentof Small Business Development’s Business As- The Journalsistance Division will contact you.