August 16, 2023
Miami Launches Efforts To Support Local Black-Owned Businesses
In celebration of National Black Business Month, Miami-Dade County is actively supporting and investing in the growth of Miami’s Black-owned enterprises.
In an interview with the Miami Herald, Bill Diggs, executive director of Miami-Dade Economic Advocacy Trust, emphasized the importance of community involvement to help stimulate Miami’s local economy. Diggs told the Herald, “We need the community to help us make an undeniable statement that the growth and prosperity of Miami-Dade County is correlated to the growth and prosperity of the county’s Black business community.”
Florida’s economy is taking a hit due to backlash from the policy decisions of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. A growing number of corporations, Black advocacy groups, and prominent figures like Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union-Wade are distancing themselves from the state.
In a candid conversation with Rachel Nichols on her Showtime series, Headliners With Rachel Nichols, in April 2023, Wade explained the factors influencing his family’s departure from the state. When asked about DeSantis’ controversial “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which has been particularly pertinent given his daughter’s LGBTQ+ identity, Wade candidly responded, “That’s one more reason why I’ve chosen not to reside in that state. Many are unaware of this. My decisions must encompass my family’s well-being, extending beyond personal choices. While the state’s tax benefits and the recognition of Wade County are positive, it’s essential that my family feels embraced and at ease. Unfortunately, that’s not a sentiment we would encounter there, which is a significant factor in my decision not to live there.”
In May 2023, the NAACP issued a travel advisory recommending that Black people and people of color avoid traveling to the state. The organization raised concerns due to the prevailing notion that Florida’s educational directives were unfavorable to the Black community, coupled with its stance on LGBTQ+ issues exemplified by the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. The advisory reads: “Florida is openly hostile toward African Americans, people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals. Before traveling to Florida, please understand that the state of Florida devalues and marginalizes the contributions of and the challenges faced by African Americans and other communities of color.”
To fight this, the City of Miami is focusing on increasing the visibility of Black businesses. The Miami-Dade Economic Advocacy Trust is hosting several events open to the public from August 15-22, with many of them aimed at helping Miami-area Black businesses thrive and generate public interest.
As the Greater Miami Convention and Visitor Bureau CEO David Whitaker told the Herald: “The travel and hospitality industry can only continue to truly have equitable growth in Miami-Dade County if those in the Black business community are afforded viable opportunities. Black Business Month can be used to reassess key relationships, evaluate resources and needs and enter into meaningful conversations to leverage the talents and drive of our entrepreneurs.”
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