F1 commits $500,000 to Miami Gardens small business loan scheme | South Florida News

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Formula 1’s partnership with Miami Gardens to bring international motorsport to the city over the next 10 years has led to a $500,000 commitment to support small businesses in the area.

Last week, F1 announced that it would partner with the Community Fund of North Miami Dade (CFNMD), a subsidiary of the Opa-locka Community Development Corporation (OLCDC), to distribute loans to businesses located in Miami Gardens and business owners who are residents. from the city.

To support the scheme, the Truist Foundation will add an additional $100,000 to the pot, while the OLCDC will match F1’s pledge with an additional $500,000, meaning over $1 million will be up for grabs for the local business community.






Willie Logan, President and CEO, Opa-locka Community Development Corporation




“I’m absolutely convinced that if we spend that $500,000 from Formula 1 by the end of this year, we’ll probably see another $500,000 from them in January,” said Willie Logan, president and chief executive officer. management of the OLCDC. “They give us a chance and allow us to demonstrate that the community is not only ready to accept this [and] enjoy it, but will also succeed in doing so.

The partnership lasted for months, according to Logan. After a rigorous selection process that included at least five organisations, CFNMD was ultimately selected by the F1 team for the Small Business Loan Scheme.

Miami Gardens Mayor Rodney Harris said he is delighted that F1 remains committed to investing in his city.

“It will help them be more successful,” Harris told the Miami Times of local businesses that can take advantage of the partnership. “The pandemic has brought us to a point where people need money, and small businesses here in Miami Gardens need those funds as well. So that’s another avenue we’re putting in place so that small businesses can have a chance to prosper.







Mayor Harris

Miami Gardens Mayor Rodney Harris (center), flanked by council members Robert Stephens III, Katrina Wilson and Shannon Campbell, speaks at a press conference last Thursday to support Miami’s $500,000 pledge Formula 1 to help support local small businesses.




Last year, many locals objected to hosting the Miami Grand Prix in their backyards, citing noise pollution and health risks as major concerns. The Miami Gardens City Council had also expressed its opposition in a unanimous vote against F1 in 2020, but that vote was overturned by the Miami-Dade County Board of Commissioners, as previously reported in the Miami Times.

A $5 million community benefits package pledged by F1 organizers helped seal the deal, bringing the first of many championship races to Miami Gardens.

Nearly three months after the big sporting event, city leaders want to see small business owners get a piece of the pie.

“We said at the time of securing this race that we wanted to make sure that we left a positive and lasting impact on this community,” Courtnee Chun, portfolio manager of the company that acquired F1, told a conference. press last Thursday. “And this is an important step.”







Sherronda Daye

Sherronda Daye, founder of Sweet Jalane’s, poses with her homemade desserts.




Harris, surrounded by council members Robert Stephens III, Katrina Wilson and Shannon Campbell at the press conference, shared his gratitude that this initiative helps revive the local economy.

Logan estimates that 20-25 businesses will be supported by the $500,000. So far, three loans have already been approved for part of this financing.

“Our hope is to do it within a year,” he said. “But I’m confident we’ll do it sooner.”

The local business community welcomes this opportunity.

“I think this will be the resuscitation of dreams for a lot of people,” said Sherronda Daye, owner of Defense Tea and Sweet Jalane’s.

Daye, who had to switch from a salaried government job to a professional bakery after losing her job, said she knew firsthand how important it was to provide loan opportunities to small businesses owned by blacks.

As a former CFNMD loan recipient, she was able to buy commercial ovens, stand mixers and uniforms, and hire staff to work in a communal kitchen. Now, after getting a boost, she plans to open her first physical store.







Sweet Jalane

Sherronda Daye, founder of Sweet Jalane and loan recipient from the North Miami Dade Community Fund, hosts an event announcing more loan funding opportunities for area small business owners.




“These funds allowed us to dress the part, be the part, and cook the part, and it was awesome,” she said, sharing the excitement that CFNMD will receive more funding to continue. to support businesses like his through loan opportunities.

F1 will assess how long it will take for those dollars to be distributed as loans before deciding whether the commitment will be renewed for further loan funding.

“As far as the city is concerned, we’re going to put something in place to help our residents,” Harris said when asked about the additional benefits of the partnership outside of the business loan program. “And that will come in the near future.”

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