Overtown small businesses get financial help from city
By Deserae del Campo
Mom-and-pop businesses in Overtown are receiving financial help from the Community Redevelopment Agency thanks to the Overtown Small Business Grant Initiative.
"The program started with former Commissioner Jeffery Allen and is now being expanded by Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones," said Frank Rollason, executive director the Southeast Overtown Parkwest/Omni Community Redevelopment Agency.
Last week during a Community Redevelopment Agency meeting, city commissioners increased the total initiative from $200,000 to $250,000.
City commissioners also asked Mr. Rollason to increase the funding in time for next year's budget so that more small businesses in Overtown can get aid.
The 3-year-old program helps established businesses along Northwest Third Avenue up to Northwest 14th Street. The aim is to give owners a jump start on store equipment, money for capital improvements, inventory and working capital.
"Another program we have with Downtown Miami Partnership is a commercial façade program," Mr. Rollason said. "We can help with signage, outside work, interior work and remodeling walls that have to be removed, for example."
The most any business owner can receive from the agency is $25,000, but if the program increases funds in time for next year, owners may receive more to help improve Overtown business and commerce.
As of May 9, the program had distributed $107,000 in Overtown.