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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 

Business

Learn more about doing business with Miami-Dade County, starting a small business, the Mom and Pop grant program and more.

How can I do business with Miami-Dade County?

If you would like to do business with Miami-Dade County, you may register and look for solicitations online with the Internal Services Department's Procurement Management Services Division.
 
Miami-Dade County's Small Business Development Division works to increase the participation of small businesses on County contracts.

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How do I start my own business?

Below you will find procedural resources to assist you with the process of starting both your own non-for-profit business and for-profit business.

Additional not-for-profit resources may be found on the Tools for Nonprofits web page.

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Where can I find information on starting a small business?

Starting a business is a complex and time-consuming endeavor. Thankfully there are state, federal and local resources to help entrepreneurs get up and running. The following resources from the Office of Management and Budget Grants Coordination Division, the Small Business Administration, and other entities will help you network with potential business partners apply for grants and loans, obtain tax information, become a registered vendor or a certified business and more.

The U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Business Center located in Miami, Florida is operated by the M. Gill and Associates, Inc. The center is part of a national network of funded centers located in major cities throughout the United States. The center works with minority business enterprises to generate increased financing and contract opportunities and to create and retain jobs.
 
The Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) is an advocacy and advisory office responsible for promoting the use of small, small disadvantaged, 8(a), women-owned, veteran-owned, service-disabled veteran-owned, and HUBZone small businesses within the U.S. Department of Commerce's (DOC) acquisition process.
 
Similarly, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has its own Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) which provides resources and post contracting opportunities for both small businesses and large business. This website also provides users the opportunity to subscribe to HUD's contracting opportunities email notification list.
 
The Florida Resource Directory is a one-stop source for learning about the latest state and federal programs and resources for local communities.
 
Additional online resources for small business owners are:

 

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Where can I find local grants and financial assistance for small businesses?

The following Miami-Dade County programs offers grant funding opportunities to small businesses in Miami-Dade County.

The Miami-Dade County Department of Public Housing and Community Development also offers several loan programs and financial assistance programs for starting new or expanding existing small businesses.

Miami-Dade County's Regulatory and Economic Resources Department's Small Business Development Division is aimed at providing contracting opportunities to small firms. This program incorporates two business sectors, micro enterprise and small business.

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Where can I find federal grants and financial assistance for small businesses?

Federal business/contracting opportunities, financial assistance and loan programs, as well as a vast array of information and support services, can be found on the U.S. Small Business Administration (in Spanish and English) and the FedBizOpps.gov websites. The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers a wealth of useful information on their website for those interested in starting a business and accessing information on establishing a business plan, as well as obtaining capital funding.

Federal funding and contracting opportunities for minority-owned small businesses can be found on these websites.

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What does the Mom and Pop Grant Program do?

The Miami-Dade County Mom and Pop Small Business Grant Program provide financial and technical assistance to qualified for-profit small businesses that are approved for funding. It is administered in collaboration with your Miami-Dade County Commissioner's Office. The grant application cycle varies across commission districts but is generally announced between December and February of each year. For an application please contact Neighbors and Neighbors Association at 305-756-0605 or your respective commissioner's office. Some commissioners provide additional information about the program on their websites.

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What do I need to know about my tax responsibilities?

As a new business owner you will need to understand your federal tax responsibilities. To learn more about federal tax responsibilities, visit the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

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College

Find more information regarding tuition grants or scholarships for college.

Where can I find federal tuition grants or scholarships for college?

Federal grants, loans and work-study opportunities for college tuition may be found on the Federal Student Aid website. These Federal Student Aid (FSA) Programs are the largest source of student aid in America.

Financial assistance for college tuition is applied for online and administered by the U.S. Department of Education.

The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Postsecondary Education's Education Planning website contains assistance and resources on planning for college for parents, students, or those seeking a postsecondary education.

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Where can I find state tuition grants or scholarships for college?

The Florida Department of Education offers similar financial assistance programs, grants and scholarships for college.  These opportunities are published and applied for online.

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Where can I find more information on tuition grant opportunities?

The following link is a database compilation of grant opportunities specifically for individuals and allows one to sort by Academic Level and Subject.

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Foundations

Learn more about foundations, foundation funds and receiving grants from a foundation.

What are foundations?

Most private foundations are nonprofit or charitable trusts that have collected large amounts of money from one source such as donations from an individual, family, or corporation. Often, foundations will give out grants to individuals, organizations, or agencies to help accomplish the goals of the foundation.  Some private foundations use their monies to run their own programs to accomplish their charitable goals, rather than giving out grants. Public foundations, such as Community Foundations, also make grants to organizations or individuals; however, their funding comes from multiple sources.

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What do foundations fund?

The interests of foundations vary. Some focus on a particular population group such as women, children, or a certain area of the country, etc.  Other foundations focus their funding toward specific fields or topics of interest such as the arts, healthcare, creating social change, etc.

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Who can receive a grant from a foundation?

Most foundations award funding to nonprofit organizations with a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS; however, some exceptions exist.  Foundations also very often grant awards to individuals in the form of scholarships, fellowships, and travel grants. Sometimes foundations will request nominations for some type of award contest to recognize people, projects, or best practices in a particular field.

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Grants

Learn more about applying for a grant and more.

Who can apply for a grant?

Each grant is different. When an organization or agency announces or advertises a particular grant, it will specify what kinds of organizations or individuals are allowed to apply (otherwise known as eligible applicants). Many grants try to direct their funding to not-for-profit organizations that have a 501(c)(3) non-profit status with the IRS. There are also a lot of grants for educational institutions; state and local governments; health care organizations; small businesses entrepreneurs; minorities including women; community-based organizations including faith-based organizations; and tribal governments.

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Are individuals eligible for grants?

Unfortunately, in most cases, the answer is no. Most foundations and many government agencies usually award grant funding to not-for-profit organizations, universities and similar academic institutions, and units of government. Grant money for "personal use" or to pay your debt is scarcely available.
 
In some cases grant opportunities for individuals do exist, usually for students or researchers in the form of scholarships, fellowships or research grants.
 
The U.S. government has a website entitled GovBenefits.gov  specifically to assist individuals seeking financial assistance or benefits from the federal government. This website is simply a screening tool to help people find government eligible benefits. This website does not provide an application process or eligibility determinations for these services.
 
The Foundation Center has a database which houses grants information specifically for individuals. Subscription access to the database costs $19.95/mo; however, the Miami-Dade County Main Library, downtown, offers this subscription service on library computers to library visitors for free.
 
The Mayer Foundation provides economic relief grants up to $5,000 to needy individuals who are distressed or suffering as a result of poverty, low income or lack of financial resources.
 
Ways to Work loans up to $4,000 at an interest rate of 8% over two years are available to qualified low-income applicants in accordance with the national office's minimum loan eligibility criteria.

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What do grants pay for?

Again, it varies, depending on the interest or mission of the organization or agency that is providing the funding (otherwise known as the granting entity or grantor). Most funding is directed toward projects that assist populations with special needs or circumstances such as migrant workers, low-income elderly residents, or disabled students. Most grants do not typically fund capital/constructions projects.
 
Many grants require the applicant to provide some kind of monetary contribution toward the project to be funded; this is known as the "match." The matching contribution can usually be cash or the donation of services and labor, also called an "in-kind" match.

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How can I find a grant opportunity?

Most organizations or agencies advertise or announce grant opportunities through a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) or Request For Proposals (RFP). All federal FOA’s are published on a federal grants website called Grants.gov and also on the Federal Register website. All federal grant programs are listed in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance by their CFDA number. Other granting organizations or entities, such as state agencies, foundations, and corporations, will usually announce their grant opportunities directly on their own website.
 
Miami-Dade County Office of Management and Budget's Grants Coordination Division looks for grant announcements from a variety of funding entities and posts these announcements on our Current Grant Opportunities Portal on a weekly basis. The Division also compiles new grant announcements together in a weekly email, known as the Grant Mail, which is sent to individuals who subscribe to a special distribution list.

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How can I receive a grant?

To receive a grant, one must apply for it. When an organization or agency announces or advertises a particular grant, the announcement will contain information about the application procedures and rules to follow. Applicants are required to prepare a written grant proposal or to fill in an application form that describes the project for which they wish to receive funding.
 
All grant proposals require the submission of a budget. Often the application process will also require the applicant to submit additional application forms or documents. Some applications are most complex than others.
 
Usually there is a deadline for submitting the application. The guidelines or rules for the grant application should be reviewed carefully because applications can be rejected if the rules are not followed or if the proposal is submitted by an organization that is not considered to be an eligible applicant. Once the deadline for submittal has passed, the granting organization will review the grant applications and decide which ones to fund.  Miami-Dade County's Office of Grants Coordination has a Grant Resources page on our website that provides grant writing information. Click here to subscribe to Grant Mail.

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What does the County's Grants Coordination Revenue Maximization Unit do?

The Revenue Maximization Unit is one of several sections within Miami-Dade County's Office of Management and Budget Grants Coordination Division. The unit's main purpose is to bring more money to County departments and their community partners via grants. The unit researches grant funding opportunities and helps Departments with grant writing and other types of grant application assistance.
 
The unit also tries to promote collaboration between departments to make the most of limited resources. Revenue maximization involves the development of strategies to identify and claim reimbursement from the Federal Government and other sources for eligible services and clients.
 
The unit does not provide any grant funding to individuals, groups, government agencies, or organizations and it does not assist with grant applications for non-County organizations that are unaffiliated with a County Department or project.

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Home Buying

Find information related to home ownership, housing programs and more.

Where can I find information on home ownership?

Before buying a house, visit the Fannie Mae website in order to find educational materials and guides that help people attain home ownership and access additional resources.
 
U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides information, services and programs for homebuyers.

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Where can I find Miami-Dade County related housing information?

Miami-Dade County manages several programs and services for homebuyers.

The following municipalities and agencies manage their own first-time homebuyer programs:

Florida Housing Coalition and the Florida Housing Finance Corporation provides free technical training to apply for housing grants and has an Affordable Housing Guarantee Program, Homeownership Loan Program, Pre-Development Loan Program, and more.

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Do local foundations provide funding?

Some local foundations provide funding for community development, building and equipment, and social services, but these are usually directed toward non-profit organizations.

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Are there any housing programs for minorities?

The following is a general website that often posts a variety of grants for homeownership if you qualify as a minority potential homeowner.

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Are there any housing programs for seniors?

U.S. HUD offers housing-related information for senior citizens on their website.

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Where can I find a down payment assistance program?

These programs are administered by nonprofit organizations to provide, or offer information on, down payment assistance to new homebuyers.

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How can I prevent foreclosure?

If you are looking for money or resources to prevent foreclosure, the following online resources may be of assistance.

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Home Improvements

Learn more about assistance for home improvements.

Where can I find assistance for home improvements?

A partnership between Community Action and Human Services and the Office of Community and Economic Development (OCED) provides for repairs and upgrades in owner occupied low to moderate income single-family homes primarily geared to addressing health and safety issues, code violations; and includes roof repairs, plumbing and electrical as well as associated repairs and exterior painting.
 
Miami-Dade County Community Action Agency administers various loan programs for home improvements. The Miami-Dade County Community Action agency also administers a Single Family Home Rehabilitation Program which provides oversight as Construction Manager for those applicants who have received a house rehabilitation loan through Miami-Dade County Housing Agency.
 
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development does not give cash assistance for home repairs; however, they do offer various home improvement loan programs for specific purposes, including making essential home repairs and assistance programs for energy efficiency improvements.

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How can I receive help to protect my home from natural disasters?

Miami-Dade County Community Action and Human Services Department operates three storm shutter/hazard mitigation programs. The Project Residential Shuttering Program protects the houses of Senior Citizens 65 or older against storms through aluminum storm shutters installations. The Residential Construction Mitigation Program provides residential structural inspections to low to moderate income households to determine what retrofit measures are needed to strengthen the home and lessen the damages from high windstorms. The Shutter Program for the Disabled provides for the installation of accordion style or other user friendly shuttering systems.
 
To find similar programs for counties outside of Miami-Dade, visit the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity website.

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Where can I find assistance for payment of bills in an emergency?

The Community Action and Human Services Department utilizes Emergency Food and Shelter Assistance (EFSA) to assist individuals and families in need of EMERGENCY assistance with issues regarding payment of utility bills, rent and mortgage payments and also provides temporary shelter and food.
 
Shelter locations include:

  • Liberty City Community Enrichment Center  6100 NW 7th Avenue  305-756-2830
  • Goulds Community Enrichment Center  21300 SW 122 Avenue  305-233-2121
  • Accion Community Enrichment Center  858 West Flagler Street  305-547-7713

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is coordinated through the Community Action Agency's Self Help Division as part of their emergency assistance programs. The program provides assistance to low-income individuals and families who are experiencing difficulty in paying for utilities such as electricity and gas.

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Where can I find programs to help me reduce my energy consumption?

The Community Action and Human Services Department provides home weatherization assistance, through a partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy and the Florida Department of Community Affairs. The program is designed to reduce energy consumption in the home.
 
The Solar Water Heater Program provides for the installation of solar water heating systems in low income households. One of the most cost-effective ways to include renewable technologies into a building is by incorporating solar hot water.

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Back to Top Page Last Edited: Fri Sep 5, 2014 10:37:34 AM
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