Economic development in Miami-Dade County cannot be done properly without assisting small businesses. For this reason, our long-term economic plan is centered around small businesses, the backbone of Miami-Dade’s economy.
Residents elevated this priority through the countywide survey, showing overwhelming support for our small business network. In fact, the top response to the question, “What could your County government do to help small businesses succeed economically?” was to “Support small and minority-owned businesses through loans and business mentorship/accelerator programs.” This answer was the top choice across nearly all age, income, and racial/ethnic groups.
Within this economic network, however, challenges exist. Residents shared that the current economy does not provide enough opportunities for equal employment, particularly for Black Miami-Dade residents. According to the Thrive305 survey, LGBTQ+ residents were more likely to sustain income loss during the pandemic. Small business owners are finding unequal opportunities based on geographies and, in particular, not enough services provided in south Miami-Dade.
At the same time, our residents and small business owners are ready to work with us to provide more equitable opportunities. We heard that it is too difficult for small businesses to qualify for funding due to the necessary paperwork and knowledge of the system. Small businesses and technical assistance partners have shown early enthusiasm for our new program Strive305, which is providing more resources for small business owners by creating an environment where they can access technical assistance, collaborate, and learn. Our long-term economic plan continues these relationships. Supporting and growing our small businesses will create homegrown economic success, develop local talent, and create wealth for our residents.