Miami-Dade County District 8 Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava officially opened the Accelerate South Dade Small Business and Nonprofit Incubator office on Apr. 7.
The facility and program provides workspace and one-on-one guidance to about a dozen tenants and support services to other members and associates who are starting businesses or non-profit organizations.
Attending the ribbon-cutting ceremony and tour of the office were Commissioner Levine Cava, who sponsored the office; Cutler Bay Mayor Peggy Bell and town manager Rafael Casals; Accelerate South Dade manager Danilo Vargas; Neighbors and Neighbors Association Inc. executive director Leroy Jones; Lisa Greer of the Economic Development Council; Jackie Souza of FIU’s Small Business Development Center; Lawanda Wright-Robinson of the county’s Internal Services Department, Small Business Division; Daniel Leyte-Vidal of U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo’s office and numerous others.
Commissioner Levine Cava introduced the dignitaries and thanked everyone for attending. She said she was extremely pleased with the way everything had come together.
“This is a dream come true,” Levine Cava said. “A vision realized that could have only happened with the partnership of so many people here in the room. If this were my last act I would die happy. It’s a critical part of growing our economy here in South Dade. We all know that small businesses are the backbone of our economy.”
Mayor Bell thanked the commissioner for her efforts to help the community.
“Welcome to Cutler Bay,” Mayor Bell said. “This is a historic day for South Dade, in going in the direction of ‘More to Explore’ and we are the very best place. Of course, Cutler Bay is the number seven fastest growing suburb in the United States. I couldn’t be more pleased as a small business owner myself to see all these new businesses starting and having this wonderful opportunity.”
Leroy Jones, executive director of Neighbors and Neighbors Association Inc., which operates the Accelerate office, was pleased with the launch of the incubator.
“This is an opportunity to serve and I don’t take it lightly,” Jones said. “I’m thankful, Commissioner, that you believe in me. We go way back, in the same line of work, and to see you grow… I always knew you had great things inside you, and to see us do this together, it’s wonderful.”
Tenant members of the Accelerate office are especially appreciative of the facility and its program.
“It allows for me to focus,” said Farrah Joseph of Pure Essentials. “I’m a single mother, so at home it’s all about family. This allows me to be in a business environment with help and contacts.”
Joann Chan, a fashion designer at Grandstand Fashion, said, “This is a godsend, for Commissioner Levine Cava to do this.”
Wendy Muguercia, an investigator with Revival Private Investigators, said she also was grateful for the assistance and the opportunity provided by the incubator program.
Accelerate South Dade is located at 10700 Caribbean Blvd., Suite 301. For information call 786-732-0774 or send a email to Danilo Vargas at firstname.lastname@example.org.