Fostering Economic Prosperity for Each is Good for all

By: Barron Channer, Chair – Urban Initiative Task Force, Miami-Dade Beacon Council
September 29, 2017

miami community newspapers

Since its inception in the mid-1980’s, the Miami-Dade Beacon Council’s goal has been to foster economic prosperity for all residents of our county. Over the years, Miami-Dade has risen to a global gateway that is the envy of many worldwide. This spectacular transformation has been fueled by the diverse talents and collective efforts of our 2.7 million residents. Now our success presents the challenge of preserving a shot at the American dream for all regardless of creed, gender, orientation, race or other.

The Miami-Dade Beacon Council is a public-private partnership to promote economic development. Its primary focus is to foster activity that creates jobs and increases business growth. The Urban Initiative Task Force (UITF) was created by the Miami-Dade Beacon Council to help contribute to greater participation in Miami-Dade’s economic prosperity by residents of Black/African-American descent. Various recent studies and anecdotal evidence suggest these residents are participating in the region’s economic prosperity at a significantly lower rate than would be expected. This reality lowers the heights our economy can reach and adversely impacts us all.

In addition to establishing the Urban Initiative Task force, the Miami-Dade Beacon Council’s six industry-focused committees will develop specific goals and initiatives in support of changing this situation. The organization has recruited business and community leaders to help learn from the community, devise strategies and implement plans. We are in the early stages but have reason to be confident that sustained, collaborative efforts will result in more participation and economic prosperity for all.

On an almost weekly basis, our county spawns more locally-grown firms that were started by individuals of Black/African-American descent, while also attracting similar companies to move from other parts of the country. A few examples include companies like CEEPCO, Hip Rock Star and Island Monkey Marketplace. CEEPCO, a construction contractor from Maryland, plans to create 35 new jobs in Miami-Dade over the next three years. Hip Rock Star is a PR agency that relocated from Atlanta and is growing quickly. Island Monkey Marketplace and Café is expanding from a retailer of products to a regional chain of island-fusion restaurants.

We have all been witness to the magic of Miami’s rise. It was fashioned from the rich diversity of our population and their collective pursuits of the American dream. August was recognized as National Black Business Month. Prosperity for each of us strengthens prosperity for all of us. The Miami-Dade Beacon Council with continue to expand our efforts to promote economic development for all.

Among other things, this means more intentional efforts to increase opportunities for residents of Black/African-American descent to participate in the region’s economic prosperity.

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