Lacking access to federal coronavirus relief, Miami’s smallest businesses face extinction. Like the thousands of businesses applying for the Small Business Administration relief programs, many of those Little Haiti businesses may not be able to take advantage.
Not unusual for the thousands of micro-businesses across Miami-Dade who often take cash only and may not have computers or even credit card readers, much fewer accountants or bank loans. Little Haiti businesses are particularly vulnerable. And without solid credit history or good financial records, they’re unlikely to qualify for the low-interest loans and paycheck-protection payments that make up the bulk of the federal relief program, advocates say. (Miami Herald)
“We’re talking about people who are their own employees or maybe employ one or two family members,” said Karla Bachmann, director of financial wellness at Branches, a community organization that provides training and support services to the so-called micro-businesses.
“They may have challenges with technology or language barriers, and they may be newcomers to this country.”Karla Bachmann, director of financial wellness at Branches,
In response to these set of unique challenges presented, Metro 1 Community, the new philanthropic arm of Metro 1, along with United Way Miami, Miami Foundation, Branches, Black Professionals Network and SantLa Haitian Neighborhood Center has put together a relief fund that will give micro-grants to the business owners and their employees who call Little Haiti “Home.” Business owners will get funding, technical assistance, and marketing assistance to remain viable.
How You Can Help
1. Give a Donation
The challenges businesses in Little Haiti faced were already on shaky ground. Language barriers, lack of culturally sensitive technical assistance and access to capital restraints were among the hurdles and now COVID-19 has threatened their existence. Your donations allow our partners to provide up to $2,500 in funding and technical assistance coaching. Donations are processed through the Miami Foundation. 100% of the funds will go to support the businesses and families within the region. Click here.
2. Share the Information
If you know a Little Haiti Small Business or are interested to learn more about the program, fill out this information form, and a representative will get back to you shortly. Complete application.
3. Sign-Up to Become a Mentor
The Little Haiti Relief Fund allows these businesses and families to get more than just funding. This effort is to provide them the support they need from mentors and coaches who can properly provide them the support and guidance they need. Complete application.
Additional funds seeking to assist black businesses across the region are being organized. More information around additional private and public sector organized funds for black businesses will be compiled.