April 9, 2020
In response to widespread business shutdowns in Little Haiti due to COVID-19, Metro 1 is spearheading the Little Haiti Small Business Relief Fund to offer business owners micro-grants for up to $2,500. The Wynwood-based real estate firm launched a Little Haiti Small Business Relief Fund in collaboration with The Miami Foundation, United Way of Miami-Dade, The Black Professionals Network (BPN), Sant La, Haitian Neighborhood Center, and Branches.
Metro 1 provided the initial $33,000 investment seed and is making a public appeal for donations toward a $150,000 goal. In addition to providing grant dollars to business owners in select zip codes, potential grantees must first apply. The fund will also offer applicants the following: business training; mentorship; financial counseling services; guidance in applying for SBA loans and technological assistance.
“The Little Haiti Small Business fund aims to protect the fabric of one of Miami’s most authentic and vulnerable communities,´ said Andres Nava, executive vice president at Metro 1 and relief fund co-creator. The heritage and culture behind Little Haiti is truly one of a kind in Miami. It’s important we protect these businesses, they are the fabric of the neighborhood,”
The Miami Times reported April 1 that the federal government has a duty to prevent any small business from falling through the cracks during this public health emergency. On Friday, March 28, the president signed a $2 trillion economic relief plan that includes $377 billion in loan assistance through the COVID-19 Relief for Small Businesses Act 2020.