Collecting data on small businesses owned by people of color in North Miami to help them adjust their business models and to aid the city in directing relief funds.
The economic recession induced by the COVID-19 pandemic is crushing small businesses in and around North Miami, many of which are Haitian-owned. Catalyst Miami, a nonprofit focused on community change and economic mobility, launched a pilot in April 2020 to help small businesses access technical assistance and prepare and submit loan applications. The organization received grant funding from the City of North Miami in September 2020 for emergency relief. This funding will support Catalyst Miami collect data to help the city better direct relief funds and provide customized technical assistance. To do so, Catalyst Miami is interested in answering: What do North Miami’s small businesses need, and in what order do they need those things? What are useful small-business-resilience benchmarks? What are the small businesses’ operational profiles (e.g., cash flow, number of employees, commercial leases, W-2s)?
To collect data, Catalyst Miami will work with the North Miami Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) and the City of North Miami to identify small businesses that are within city limits but outside the agency’s service area. To be eligible for the pilot, small businesses must meet a revenue cap and be owned by people of color with low to moderate incomes at or less than 80 percent of area median income (AMI). In addition, more than 50 percent of households in the geographic area served by a small business must have low to moderate incomes. Catalyst Miami will administer a survey and conduct focus groups with small business owners to determine what support they need and to explore benchmarks, such as whether they have three months of reserves, can pay bills, are achieving customer loyalty, and are managing cash flow during volatile periods.
The data that Catalyst Miami collects will help small businesses adjust their business models, and it will help the City of North Miami direct relief funds and decide which in-depth consultation and financial management to offer. The data will also benefit the Community Redevelopment Agency better understand small businesses’ growth plans and anticipate what the small business landscape will look like over the next five years.