RISE Miami-Dade Fund to help entrepreneurs through pandemic and beyond
County Commissioners unanimously approve $25 million for program to assist local small businesses
On Tuesday, June 2, 2020, the Miami-Dade County Board of Commissioners took a bold step forward in the COVID-19 economic recovery of local small businesses by approving $25 million for the RISE Miami-Dade Fund.
RISE, which is an acronym for Re-Investing in our Small Business Economy, has been created by the County by drawing on flexible funds provided to local governments through the federal CARES Act.
“The RISE Miami-Dade Fund will energize opportunities for small businesses throughout our County,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. “These businesses are the driving force of our local economy, and they need our help now. I’m proud to have worked with District 5 Commissioner Eileen Higgins to bring this program to life as we continue to support small businesses in our community – businesses that are a path to prosperity for so many of our residents.”
Commissioner Higgins said, “The RISE Miami-Dade Fund will not only help our businesses recover from the effects of COVID-19, it will forever be a permanent part of the small business infrastructure in Miami-Dade. Never before has the County made such a deliberate investment into our small business economy, giving more and more of our residents the opportunity to make their entrepreneurial dreams come true – and to experience the freedom and independence that owning your own business provides. I thank my Board colleagues for unanimously supporting this historic vote.”
This revolving loan program will also seek private dollars with the objective of accumulating more than $50 million.
Citi Foundation, the community foundation for CitiBank, has agreed to become the first corporate supporter to the fund.
The Dade County Federal Credit Union will administer the RISE Fund, with loans originating at local community development financial institutions (CDFIs), which are certified and regulated by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. CDFIs specialize in assisting small, women-owned and minority-owned businesses with accessing commercial loans they otherwise may not be able to obtain. They not only provide low-cost loans with favorable interest rates and repayment periods, they also offer technical financial advising, such as marketing and budgeting assistance to help strengthen and grow the businesses.
A recent study by Florida International University reports that Miami-Dade County has more than 66,000 microbusinesses with 10 employees or less, representing 81 percent of all local private businesses.
“The survival of these businesses is critical to our ability to protect jobs,” Mayor Gimenez said. “The RISE Fund will also ensure that we thrive in the future, because it will support the thousands of businesses that provide the tax base to fuel our municipal budgets so that our County can continue offering residents vital services, ranging from fire rescue and parks, to street cleaning and meals for seniors.”
To read the resolution, click here.
The program has not launched yet. To see if your business would qualify for a RISE loan and to sign up for email updates on when the application process will begin, go to risemiamidade.com.