F1 commits $500,000 toward small-business loan program in Miami Gardnes                          

(F1 MiamiGP.com)

By Johania Charles Miami Times Staff Writer

  (Source Miami Times)

Willie Logan

Formula One’s partnership with Miami Gardens to bring the international auto racing sport 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 will partner with the Community Fund of North Miami Dade (CFNMD), a subsidiary of the Opa-locka Community Development Corporation (OLCDC), to distribute loans for businesses located in Miami Gardens and business owners who are residents of the city.

In support of the program, the Truist Foundation will add an additional $100,000 to the pot, while the OLCDC will match F1’s commitment with an additional $500,000, meaning more than $1 million will be up for grabs for the local business community.

“I am absolutely convinced that if we spend this $500,000 from Formula One by the end of this year, we’ll see probably another $500,000 from them in January,” said Willie Logan, president, and CEO of the OLCDC. “They’re giving us a chance and allowing us to demonstrate that the community is not only ready to embrace this [and] take advantage of it, but also will succeed in doing it.”

The partnership was months in the making, according to Logan. After a rigorous vetting process that included at least five organizations, CFNMD was finally selected by the F1 team for the small-business loan program.

Miami Gardens Mayor Rodney Harris said he was pleased F1 remains committed in investing in his city.

“This will help them to be more prosperous,” Harris told The Miami Times about local businesses able to 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 this is another avenue that we put in place so that small businesses can have an opportunity to prosper.”

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

A $5 million community benefits package promised 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, the city’s 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 ensure that we left a positive, lasting impact on this community,” said Courtnee Chun, chief portfolio officer for the company that acquired F1, at a press conference last Thursday. “And this is an important step.”

 

About Carma Henry 20211 Articles
Carma Lynn Henry Westside Gazette Newspaper 545 N.W. 7th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311 Office: (954) 525-1489 Fax: (954) 525-1861

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