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Economic Development Committee

edcThe Economic Development Committee assists in the development of a well-rounded business climate to help build the Town's commercial tax base through the aggressive recruitment of new businesses.



The Economic Development Committee meets the third Tuesday of each month at 5:30pm at Miami Lakes Town Hall located at 6601 Main Street in Room 106.



Michael Huffaker, Express Employment Professionals Chair
Yefrei Musa, JPM Realty Advisors LLC Vice-Chair
Paul Marino, DeVry University Secretary
John J. Tingle, Retired International Insurance Broker Vice-Secretary
Jorge Alvarez, Seacoast Bank Member
Elizabeth Coto, SunLife Realtors Member
Marta Diaz, Miami Lakes Chamber of Commerce Member
Mara L. Falero, JetStream Federal Credit Union Member
Ladd Howell, The FIUR Organization, Inc. Member
Ivan Lambert, Jr., Ambert Medical Center Member
Andrea Graham Rechichi, The Graham Companies Member
Neill Robinson, Retired Public Administrator
Chairman, Miami Lakes Cultural Affairs Committee
Magaly Rubio, Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate  Member





Graphic FoodandWine2018 2

The Town of Miami announces its first Food and Wine Festival on March 3, 2018. The event will be co-hosted by its Economic Development Committee. The details of the event are as follows:

  • Event: Miami Lakes Food & Wine Festival 2018
  • Date: Saturday, March 3rd, 2018
  • Time: 5 PM – 9 PM
  • Location: Miami Lakes Optimist Clubhouse and Park

The event will feature fine food, wine, and specialty beer provided by local restaurants and establishments. Guests will have the opportunity to network and sample culinary delights and a selection of wines. Food and wine classes along with demonstrations will also be held during the event.

All proceeds from the event’s tickets, donations, and sales will go towards charity and benefit the Miami Lakes Town Foundation 501 (c) (3).

For more information on tickets and event sponsorship, please contact Lynn Matos, Food and Wine Festival Event Coordinator at lynnmatos@miamilakesfoodandwinefestival.com or at (305) 790-7952.

Charisma Glassman
Communications and Economic Development
Tel: (305) 364-6100 Ext. 1172
Email: glassmanc@miamilakes-fl.gov


*Stay tuned for upcomings events.




Thursday, February 23rd "Need Financing? Crowdfunding Workshop"

The Town of Miami Lakes and its Economic Development Committee hosted a Crowdfunding panel workshop cosponsored by the Miami-Dade Beacon Council, the Small Business Administration (SBA), and MICROscholarships Inc.

In 2015, it was estimated that worldwide over $34 billion was raised through crowdfunding. Crowdfunding (or crowdsourcing) is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising monetary contributions from a large number of people. Crowdfunding makes use of the easy accessibility of vast networks of people through social media and crowdfunding websites to bring investors and entrepreneurs together. Crowdfunding has the potential to increase entrepreneurship by expanding the pool of investors from whom funds can be raised beyond the traditional circle of owners, relatives and venture capitalists.

The workshop educated participants about the federal and state regulations behind the market’s functionality. In addition to crowdfunding, the panel discussed other forms of investment such as accredited investors, and the importance of a business plan and its role in obtaining investment.
The workshop panelists included:
Althea Harris, Small Business Administration
Senen Garcia, SG Law Group
Raju Mohandas, Founder of BridgePoint Financial Group
Orlando Espinosa, Co-founder of MICROscholarships Inc. and Emineo Media

For the presentation, click here


Thursday, January 26 "How to do Business with Miami-Dade County”

The Town of Miami Lakes hosted a free business workshop presented by Commissioner Esteban Bovo Jr.’s Office, in partnership with the Miami-Dade County Internal Services Department which oversees Procurement Management for the County.

Miami-Dade County awards millions of dollars in contracts for purchase of goods and services each year. Doing business with the County is now easier than ever. Miami Lakes businesses were invited to learn about the streamlined operations, simplified procedures, and required documentation via the new online vendor registration portal. 

For more information, please email lborjes@miamidade.gov or contact Commissioner Bovo’s district office at 305-820-8424.


Thursday, October 20th "Access to Capital": 

The Town of Miami Lakes and its Economic Development Committee hosted an “Access to Capital” business workshop on Thursday, October 20th in Town Hall Council Chambers.

Cosponsored by the Miami-Dade Beacon Council, the program began with our keynote speaker Althea Harris of the SBA (Small Business Administration).

Attendees then had the opportunity to meet one on one with local financial institutions and lenders.

JetStream Federal Credit Union
Linedman Group
Popular Community Bank
Seacoast National Bank
TD Bank

US Century Bank


July 27th Workshop on Social Media and Marketing 

The workshop led by Robert Rodriguez, Senior Instructor of Technology Services for the Miami Association of REALTORS was geared to teach entrepreneurs the importance of building their brand online using social media to increase exposure and generate leads. Workshop highlights include understanding each social media platform, their target market, and the most fitting channel to reach their niche.

For the presentation, click here 


May 25th Workshop with CareerSource South Florida

Workshop held in partnership with CareerSource South Florida, the statewide workforce policy and investment board. Their partners include the State's Department of Economic Opportunity, 24 local workforce development boards and 100 career centers throughout Florida. Together, they help connect businesses with the talented workforce and training needed to succeed and grow.

CareerSource South Florida educated businesses about their flexible, business-driven grant programs to help companies advance and grow their workforce and remain competitive.


March 30th Workshop with SCORE: Simple Steps to Grow Your Business

SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to educating entrepreneurs and helping small businesses start, grow, and succeed nationwide. SCORE is a resource partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and has been mentoring small business owners for more than fifty years.

SCORE’s Simple Steps to Grow Your Business provides a road map to help you achieve the goals you have set for the growth of your business. For the complete presentation, click here


Job fair: April 30th  

The Town of Miami Lakes, through its Youth Activities Task Force and Economic Development Committee hosted a High School Student Job Fair on Saturday, April 30th, 2016 at the Mary Collins Community Center. The event was intended to bring the community together by matching local talent with local businesses.

The Town of Miami Lakes encouraged the entire local business community to participate in this dynamic event. 



The Economic Development Committee has continued to focus on not only promoting economic development in Miami Lakes by attracting new business, but also ensuring that our current businesses remain pleased and ensure their desire to remain in our town. Our goal is to reinforce, strengthen and promote the livability and sustainability of our commercial and industrial business districts.

The committee was instrumental in assisting with the new branding of our Town; the EDC has worked on various programs that continue to support that effort.

1) Miami Lakes  Dining Guide to reflect the addition of all the new restaurants in Miami Lakes. The Dining Guide has been distributed to hotels, as well as retail and banking facilities in the Town. The map highlights the shopping centers within the Town and the various restaurants within, based on the type of food (EX: American Casual, delivery/take out, beer/wine)

2) The Miami Lakes Facts Brochure into the Miami Lakes Welcome Packet. This was developed into an 8 ½ x 11 booklet that can be used to attract both new businesses and residents to our
community. This packet gives an overview of our Town, focusing on the competitive assets of the Town, including Education, Tax Advantages and the Competitive Climate of the Town. The packets and dining guide have been placed at all municipal buildings as well as local banks and hotels. The packets along with the dining guide are also provided to all new to Miami Lakes businesses upon obtaining a business tax receipt.

3) The committee realizes that an increased effort needs to be made to assure that we are well positioned for an economic recovery. We have strengthened and formed new relationships with the Miami Lakes Chamber of Commerce and the Beacon Council to promote Miami Lakes as a viable and great location to open, relocate or expand your business.

Through the annual membership with the Miami Lakes Chamber, the Town is able to invite new businesses to Chamber luncheons to encourage participation and membership.

The Committee also purchased an ad in the Beacon Council’s Relocation Guide which is distributed both nationally and internationally to site selectors and prospective business wishing to relocate or expand within the County.

This ad was also published in three Commercial Industrial Association of South Florida (CIASF) Signature Reports: the Commercial Financing Report released at their September 19th event held in Miami Lakes; the mid-January Industrial Report; and the April/May Office Market Report.

The Committee sponsored the September 19th event which attracted close to 200 guests, most of whom are interested parties in the field of commercial real estate, and especially in the financing of commercial real estate. This group had not previously met in Miami Lakes, and became a perfect opportunity to showcase the Town.

4) www.MiamiLakesMarketplace.com : The Town recently launched the local business directory in both web and mobile application formats. Free to Miami Lakes businesses, businesses can manage their page and presence on the Town’s website site to include photos of new merchandise, services or menu items, upcoming events, available job opportunities, and coupons.

Residents and visitors can search using keywords like “pizza” or “dentist”. The interactive mapping portion will then bring up all the local business within that category, and provide driving and walking directions. Residents also have the opportunity to sign up for weekly coupon and job opportunity updates.

5) www.Miamilakes-fl.gov/properties : The Town of Miami Lakes also recently implemented the new Property Search Portal on the Town's website: www.miamilakes-fl.gov/properties allows users to identify zoning districts, search available commercial properties for lease or sale, add commercial properties for lease or sale (for brokers and realtors), and search property records for existing properties in Miami Lakes. The portal provides data on zoning restrictions demographics, consumer spending trends, traffic counts, and labor force statistics which are key indicators for businesses when looking to relocate or expand.

The website helps prospective business owners streamline their property search while simultaneously helping our local realtors to better market their listed properties at no cost. Prospective businesses are able to save countless time to see exactly where in the town the new business can be located due to the zoning code, and what properties area available that meet their criteria.

7) Miami Lakes Video Tour : CGI Communications, in partnership with the US Conference of Mayors and the National League of Cities, produced three free community videos that are now hosted on the Town website’s homepage. The Committee assisted in developing the script and shoot locations for the videos to showcase the best of what Miami Lakes has to offer to residents, visitors, and businesses. The three video topics include:

  1. Welcome to Miami Lakes
    2. Real Estate & Relocation- focusing on residential
    3. Economic Development- focusing on commercial

In addition, the Town’s videos will be posted to www.Relocate.org , which features more than 15,000 videos highlighting communities across the United States, providing vital information to those preparing for or considering a move.

 8) PACE Program: In December 2014, the Town Council voted to join the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Program. The PACE Program provides upfront financing for energy conservation and efficiency (i.e. energy-efficient heating, cooling, or ventilation systems), renewable energy (i.e. solar panels), wind resistance (i.e. impact resistant windows) and other improvements. Through these improvements residents and business property owners are able to reduce their carbon footprint and energy costs, fortify private properties, preserve property values, and stimulate the local economy by the creation of needed construction jobs.

The unanimous vote makes Miami Lakes the most recent of fifteen communities in Miami-Dade County to become part of the groundbreaking Green Corridor District and tap into more than $550 million of private capital funding for residential and commercial building energy upgrades and hurricane protection improvements.

Property owners and contractors within Miami Lakes can visit the Green Corridor website to get more information and apply for the program: www.CleanEnergyGreenCorridor.com

The Committee supports the Council's decision to become part of the Program, and encourages local commercial and residential contractors to become certified to participate.

9) New Business Welcoming Committee: The committee continues its efforts in reaching out to all the new businesses moving into the Town. Each month every committee member is responsible to reach out to a new business by phone, email or a personal visit. We remind these business owners about all the great opportunities that Miami Lakes offers including the free listing on the Marketplace, grand opening ceremonies and the sponsorship opportunities available for Town events. This has generated a very positive response from each of the new businesses.

10) International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC): We plan to attend the upcoming conference in August. The ICSC Orlando is the number one convention for the Florida shopping center industry and provides networking, deal making and educational opportunities for the retail real estate professionals.

11) Opa-Locka Airport Tour: The Committee toured our neighboring Opa-Locka Airport on February 17th. The tour was led by Nelson Mejias General Aviation Airport Supervisor for the Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport. Mr. Mejias provided an overview of the current and future developments both on and off airport property. Discussions focused on ways the Town could capitalize on these developments and promote the Town to pilots and visitors.

12) Business Workshops: We will begin hosting a series of workshops aimed at educating our local business community on the many resources available to them.

13) Beacon Council Life Sciences Committee: On Thursday, December 10th, 2015 the EDC with the Town, hosted the Beacon Council’s Life Sciences and Healthcare Committee Meeting at Town Hall. Several of Miami Lakes’ life sciences companies were also present at the meeting including Merck, HeartWare, and Nutri-Force. The committee members were then taken on a bus tour of our Miami Lakes’ life science cluster using one of the Town’s Moover buses. Attendees were also treated to a tour of the Nutri-Force Nutrition facility, in Business Park East, which currently employs over 600 people.

14) www.Miamilakes-fl.gov/properties : The Property Search Portal on the Town's website is also available on the mobile app. This Portal allows Commercial Realtors and Brokers to show their listings of commercial properties for sale or lease. The Portal also offers demographic details which are key indicators for businesses when looking to relocate or expand. This is a great tool for prospective business owners to research what properties are available in Miami Lakes.

15) www.miamilakes-fl.gov/bizresources : The Business Resource Page on the Town’s website was designed to showcase the opportunities provided by the Town to local businesses including, steps on how to open a business, Grand Opening ceremonies with elected officials, sponsorship opportunities for Town local events, and the local business preference program.



Charisma Glassman
Comunications and Economic Development
Email: GlassmanC@miamilakes-fl.gov
Phone: (305) 364-6100 Extn. 1172