ACCESS Miami/Opportunity Center

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Pathways to Prosperity. ACCESS Miami stands for Assets, Capital, Community, Education, Savings and Success. The initiative unites City resources with similar resources available in the public, private, and non-profit sectors, to offer tools and education that enable City residents and small businesses to improve their quality of life and self sufficiency.

ACCESS Miami’s foundation is made up of four cornerstones: Access to existing benefits, Access to capital, Building wealth and accumulating assets, and Improving financial literacy. These four cornerstones are the guiding premise to assist both city residents and small business entrepreneurs within the City. 

ACCESS Miami works with local partners on a one-on-one, customized basis to offer opportunities for residents year-round, including financial seminars, workshops, free tax sites, training, job listings, and more.

ACCESS Miami is a citywide, comprehensive empowerment strategy aimed at increasing residents’ access to the financial tools and education that are fundamental to economic prosperity and success.  The ACCESS model aspires to equip the entire community with the wealth-building tools necessary for economic self-sufficiency and financial resiliency.

Under the ACCESS umbrella, community-wide resources are leveraged and maximized to improve access to existing benefits, access to capital, wealth and accumulation of assets, and financial literacy.

Having your income tax return properly prepared each year is very important!  That is why for years now, the City of Miami and ACCESS Miami offers qualifying City of Miami residents and employees FREE tax return preparation services at various locations throughout the City.  These services are electronically filed just like at any paid tax preparer, but at no cost. The City of Miami is once again joining forces with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and our Neighborhood Service Centers (NSC) Offices to assist residents with their annual income tax preparation. The City's sponsored locations will once again be offering free tax preparation services and other important resources such as FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) using the Benefit Bank (TBB) as part of this year's campaign. 

Learn about the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) at one of our locations. EITC is one of the nation's largest anti-poverty programs, annually lifting millions of people out of poverty; half of these are children. In Florida alone over 2 million EITC claims generating over $5.1 billion in EITC. The average credit was $2,508, but can be as much as $6,500 depending on the worker's income, marital status and whether they have children. 

ACCESS Miami offers its residents programs and services to empower them with access to financial tools and education that are fundamental to economic prosperity. ACCESS Miami uses the Benefit Bank to provide assistance to its residents through its (NSC) Offices and other community partners providing the opportunity to apply for the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit, among other federal, state and local assistance. Invite your family and friends to visit also! Call 311 for the nearest site near you or click on the link below and download our complete tax site list.  

View Flyer and Locations(PDF, 7MB)

 

 

Financial Empowerment Coaching  Financial Emp

Financial Empowerment Center (FEC) Coaching, is all about getting your personal finances in order. You will benefit, by enhancing and developing the skills you will need to know to understand your finances, keep track of them and reach your personal goals.   

For many years, the City of Miami through ACCESS Miami, has made tangible efforts to act as a catalyst by promoting financial literacy. Educating thousands of residents and small businesses on such topics as credit and money management, and foreclosure mitigation.  

For more information contact us at 305-416-2181 or Wporro@miamigov.com

Access Hope

Access HOPE is a joint initiative between the City of Miami’s ACCESS Miami and Operation HOPE, Inc and Suntrust Bank. Access HOPE offers services throughout Miami-Dade county. These services include financial literacy workshops for youth and adults, credit and money management counseling, foreclosure prevention counseling and mortgage loan modification assistance. For details on upcoming workshops, please call 305-904-5298 or email ana.rojas@operationhope.org or visit their website for the nearest location: https://operationhope.org

Foreclosure Prevention

Foreclosure Prevention - It's a growing problem across the country: Homeowners facing foreclosure are losing their money – and their homes – to loan modification scams. Information is your best defense. If you see the signs of a scam and know the facts, you can protect yourself. Learn more in English or Spanish.

AARP Foundation Housing Solutions Center

AARP Foundation Housing Solutions Center connects homeowners age 50 and older to free HUD-certified counseling, resources and education that can help prevent foreclosure. Call toll free to (855) 850-2525 or dial 311 in Miami  to begin a free foreclosure prevention session today. Additional information is available online at www.aarp.org/housingsolutionscenter

Apprisen

Apprisen develops solutions for all stages of an individual's financial life. As a result of their experience, they have identified the elements of effective money management. That is what has driven the development of many of the materials they use in their sessions and the topics they teach in our communities.   For more information click here or, please call 1-800-355-2227.

 

Find the Right Information

Starting a small business can be difficult without the right information. ACCESS Miami is here to help you find what you are looking for to help your business grow. Find information about all the great resources available to City of Miami businesses here!

 

What is Miami Business Solutions?

The City of Miami’s Office of Grants Administration - Economic Initiatives is at the forefront of providing small business owners with information and support to help their small businesses grow. The new Miami Business Solutions Resource Guide was created as a way to encourage entrepreneurism and small business development. Starting your business can be difficult at times. The guide seeks to help you along the way by providing resources and basic information to get you started in the right direction.

View Miami Business Solutions Guide(PDF, 4MB)

 

Buy Miami

A great way to get the word out for your small business is to advertise on BuyMiami.Biz for free. The City of Miami launched Buy Miami as a way to help small business owners advertise their growing businesses and also provide the city’s residents with great value. To advertise on Buy Miami visit us at www.buymiami.biz, download the agreement and send it to us at buymiami@miamigov.com.

Florida Virtual Entrepreneur Center

The Florida Virtual Entrepreneur Center is a free web portal designed to connect entrepreneurs with business support organizations, programs and service providers who can support their new or growing business. http://flvec.com/miami-dade/

Miami MBDA Export Center

The Miami MBDA Export Center, Operated by M. Gill & Associates, Inc., provides technical assistance to generate increased financing and contract prospects. The Center's mission is to increase the opportunity for ethic minorities and disadvantaged individuals to participate and succeed in the free enterprise system within the United States and in Global Markets, through the formation, development, preservation and growth of competitive, disadvantaged individuals & minority-owned firms. Funded in part by the U.S Department of Commerce- MBDA and the City of Miami, its strategic and in-kind cost share partner, the Center's consultants provide an array of both domestic and international assistance and growth services to small/minority-owned firms in the following areas:

  • Export- Ready Training
  • Export Marketing Plan Development
  • World-wide Export Sales Leads
  • In-Bound & Out Bound Trade Missions
  • Export Insurance, Finance & Bonding
  • Local  Federal Certification Assistance- SBE, MBE, CSBE, WBE, WOSB, DBE, ACDBE, 8(a), HUBZone, GSA
  • "Business Wednesday"- Walk-in Seminars
  • Sourcing of Government & Commercial Contracts and more

MBDA Export Center is located at:

 

Small Business Administration

The federal government’s Small Business Administration provides financial, technical, and management assistance to help you start and grow your business. They also have a local office in South Florida you can call or visit. www.sba.gov

Miami District Office

51 SW 1st Avenue Suite 201

Miami, FL  33130 Phone: (305) 536-5521 Fax:  (305) 536-5058

Email: SouthFlorida_DO@sba.gov

 

Employ Florida

At the Employ Florida marketplace you can find resources about demographics, labor market services, training grants, education services, employer incentives and more. Visit their website at https://www.employflorida.com

SBA Advocacy

Learn about what is going on in Capitol Hill and how it affects your small business with SBA advocacy. Visit their site for more.

The Beacon Council

A public and private non-profit agency working to support the business climate of Miami and Dade County. You can also visit them to find the latest county business development information. www.beaconcouncil.com

SBDC (Small Business Development Center at Miami-Dade County:

Provide FREE and Confidential counseling help to start-ups (business planning and execution) and established companies (access to capital, marketing, accounting, business plan, International Trade) through their SBDC’s Certified Business Analysts https://business.fiu.edu/centers/sbdc/contact.cfm and https://business.fiu.edu

Provide FREE and Confidential counseling in Selling to the Government (Federal, State and Local) through our PTAC Program http://www.fptac.org/  

SBDC just launched a new program called Growth Acceleration http://floridasbdc.org/services/growth-acceleration/ . The objective of this program is to learn to revitalize the growth of your business with the Florida SBDC's Growth Acceleration services designed to deliver substantive, professional consulting to qualified small and medium-sized businesses. 

Seminars and Trainings.

  • SBDC in Miami-Dade
  • 1101 Brickell Ave
  • Miami, FL 33131
  • Tel 305-779-9230
  • Email: SBDC@FIU.EDU

 

O*Net Online

The O*NET program is the nation's primary source of occupational information. Central to the project is the O*NET database, containing information on hundreds of standardized and occupation-specific descriptors. The database, which is available to the public at no cost, is continually updated by surveying a broad range of workers from each occupation. Information from this database forms the heart of O*NET OnLine, an interactive application for exploring and searching occupations. The database also provides the basis for our Career Exploration Tools, a set of valuable assessment instruments for workers and students looking to find or change careers. Page | 29 The Occupational Information Network (O*NET) is being developed under the sponsorship of the US Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA) through a grant to the North Carolina Employment Security Commission. http://www.onetonline.org/

Grameen Bank

Grameen Foundation is a U.S. based nonprofit foundation that helps the world's poorest people achieve their full potential by providing access to essential financial services and information on health and agriculture that can transform their lives. It also developed tools to improve the effectiveness of poverty-focused organizations. Grameen Foundation's collaborative approach to poverty alleviation recognizes the multidimensional and complex nature of global poverty and it works with cross-sector companies and organizations to ensure lasting impact. It's significant achievements have received outstanding recognition in the BBC and the Standford Social Innovation Review. Grameen America and Grameen Foundation are independent sister organizations that share the vision of Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus to empower entrepreneurs around the world.

For more information please visit www.grameenamerica.org

 

Accion USA

Accion is a nonprofit micro-lender that offers loans and financial education to small business owners nationwide. Accion is an affordable alternative to businesses unable to access capital from traditional sources. Accion has been empowering entrepreneurs in the United States for over 20 years.  Their mission is to create sustainable businesses, providing jobs and ensuring healthy local communities. Accion is the City of Miami’s micro-lending partner.

www.accioneast.org

Mom & Pop Small Business Grant

This grant program is designed to provide financial and technical assistance to qualified, for profit small businesses that are approved for funding. This program seeks to bridge the gap between local government and small owned and operated businesses. One of the minimum qualifications for the program is to be in businesses at least one year, demonstrated by the appropriate documents. Applications usually open in January, but you can call the Neighbors and Neighbors Association at 305-756-0605 to learn more or apply.

Find a Grant or Loan

Are you looking to start a business in our City or County? There are resources that can help. Local governments offers various programs and resources that promote economic development.

Visit www.miamidade.gov/businessexpress

 

Micro-Enterprise Assistance & Peer Lending

This program helps entrepreneurs build a strong credit history by borrowing incremental amounts, develop stronger business skills, share business ideas, and provide peer support. Direct loans are available for up to $5,000 and in some cases up to $25,000 depending on a business’s profitability and credit soundness. For more information on organizations working on this program contact one of the following:

  • Maria Coto, Executive Director 
    305-438-1407 Partners for Self Employment, Inc. d/b/a Micro-Business, USA  Website: www.partnerforselfemployment.com

 

OUR Microlending

Is a private microfinance institution that offers micro-entrepreneurs an effective and efficient microfinance service that supports and promotes their Economic and Social development through microloans from $1,500 to $20,000. For more information, please call: 305-854-8113. www.ourmicrolending.com

South Florida Regional Planning Council Revolving Loan Fund

Offers loans between $50,000 and $300,000 for small to medium sized businesses looking to grow. Through their business development and government resource partnerships they can help you successfully apply for your loan. http://www.sfrpc.com/rlf.htm

Grant.gov

The federal government has consolidated where you may apply for any federal grant. It was first established as a government resource named the E-grants initiative spurring from the Federal Financial Assistance Management Improvement Act of 1999. To learn more or find a grant you can visit: https://www.grants.gov/

 

Florida Enterprise Zones

A resource site with information regarding Florida's Enterprise Zones.

http://www.miamidade.gov/business/business-incentives.asp

Local Business Incentives

Enterprise Zone Program Incentive Information Sheet

Enterprise Zone Incentives Eligibility Checklist

Miami-Dade County Enterprise Zone Application

Florida Small Business

Resources for growing a small business in Florida. www.floridasmallbusiness.com

State of Florida Division of Corporations

Florida Division of Corporations online information, research and electronic processing service center. http://www.sunbiz.org/

Florida Export Finance Corporation

A not-for profit corporation created and funded by the State of Florida with the sole purpose of providing assistance (financial and informational) to small business Florida exporters who have been turned down by traditional lenders. http://www.dos.state.fl.us/fefc/

 

Small Business Administration

The Small Business Administration is a federal organization that provides financial, technical, and management assistance to help Americans start, run, and grow their businesses. www.sba.gov

Internal Revenue Service

Get helpful tips from the IRS as well as access to programs for individuals and businesses www.irs.gov. The IRS also provides an interactive web resource to help business owners learn more about their federal tax rights. http://www.tax.gov/virtualworkshop/.

SCORE

A non-profit resource partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration who is dedicated to entrepreneur education and the formation, growth and success of small businesses nationwide. They offer vibrant mentorship programs and expert resources.https://miamidade.score.org/

 

Internet Essentials from Comcast

Bring the Internet home for just $9.95. Comcast Internet Essential's is available to households with children who receive free school lunches under the National School Lunch Program. For more information call toll free 1-855-846-8376 or visit InternetEssentials.com.

ACCESS Florida

The state of Florida’s Department of Children & Families has initiated a new web portal called Access Florida.  It provides enhanced access to services through a combination of department staff and community providers. The ACCESS Florida Program is responsible for public assistance eligibility determination and ongoing case management of Food Assistance, Temporary Cash Assistance and Medicaid. The Food Assistance Program helps low-income individuals and families buy the food they need for good health. The Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA) Program provides short-term cash benefits to families with children under the age of 18, or under age 19 if full time secondary school students, as well as pregnant women during in their last trimester.  Medicaid provides medical coverage to low income individuals and families through a variety of eligibility categories.  Income and asset limits vary based on the eligibility category. To find a community partner to help you navigate Access Florida for the first time click  here. To begin your application today click here!

Refugee Services Program

Refugee Services helps refugees and entrants into the United States become self-sufficient. Refugee Services assists newly-arrived eligible clients in obtaining employment, learning English, acquiring job skills and overcoming legal or medical difficulties. The program is 100 percent federally-funded through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Refugee Resettlement, through a grant application process. The services provided through Refugee Services include: Adult & Vocational Education, Child Care, Youth Crime Prevention, Eligibility Training, Employability Status Assistance Services, Employment Services, Epilepsy Case Management, Haitian Family Services, Health Screenings, Integration Assistance, Interpreter Services, Medical Services, Unaccompanied Refugee Minors, Victims of Human Trafficking, Youth and Family Services. For more information visit www.dcf.state.fl.us/programs/refugee/

Link Up Florida & Lifeline Assistance

The Link Up Florida and the Lifeline Assistance Programs are helping to make telephone service affordable to low-income customers in the City of Miami. The programs are designed to ensure that the basic telephone connection (hook-up) and monthly service remain affordable to all residents of Florida. Link-Up Florida gives a 50% rebate in the telephone hook-up charge (up to $30.00). Lifeline Assistance gives $9.25 credit per month on local phone bills and/or broadband.. Over a year's time, that is a savings of $111.00. ACCESS Miami is committed to making sure that eligible low income residents receive these discounts, but, to benefit, you need to apply.

  • Click here for information in English.
  • Click here for information in Spanish
  • .
  • Click here for information in Creole.
  • Click here for English Link- Up and Lifeline Certification Form.
  • Click here for Spanish Link-Up and Lifeline Certification Form.
  • Click here for Creole Link-Up and Lifeline Certification Form

 

The Benefit Bank

The Benefit Bank (TBB™) is an internet-based, counselor-assisted program that simplifies the process of applying for many state and federal benefits, and helps working individuals and families maximize income tax refunds.  TBB not only helps individuals determine eligibility for benefits, but actually fills out the benefit applications and prints final applications or tax returns on proper forms.  It even allows for e-filing returns and benefit applications when possible.  Most importantly, TBB is free.  For more information, click here. To find the location of a site near you, call 311.

Technological Tools & Training

The On It Foundation is a National 501(c)(3) non-profit whose Mission is to provide free donated computers and computer training to low-income families with students in grades K-12 that receive a free or reduced school lunch, attend a public school and reside within the United  States. The organization, established in November 1999, moved its headquarters from Seattle to Miami in 2006. The On It Foundation provides technological tools and customized skill sets to include computer training, career preparation and job readiness programs that include students (and their parents). To apply for a free computer, please visist http://www.TheOnItFoundation.org. For more information about the guaranteed computer layaway program – Jump On It! Program, please visit http://www.jumponitprogram.com .  If you are interested in donating a computer please email: Info@TheOnItFoundation.org

 

Florida Kid Care

For open enrollment information, please call 1-888-540-KIDS (5437) or TTY 1-800-955-8771, or visit http://www.floridakidcare.org/.  You can also visit one of our Benefit Bank sites to see if you qualify.

City of Miami Health Care Providers

City of Miami Health Care Providers - These health centers provide comprehensive primary healthcare that is culturally and linguistically diversified to serve the many different ethnic groups residing in Miami. For more information, please call one of Jackson Health System’s primary care clinics:

  • Rafael Penalver Clinic, 971 N.W. 2nd Street, Miami, FL  33128, (305) 585-6000
  • Jefferson Reaves Health Center, 1009 N.W. 5th Ave, Miami, FL 33136, (786) 466-4083
  • Liberty City Health Services Center, 6269 N.W. 7th Ave, Liberty City, FL 33150, (305) 762-5233

Live Healthy Little Havana

City of Miami Community Development Housing Division

The City has many different programs to assist homeowners and potential homebuyers.  The First-Time Homebuyer’s program provides down payment and closing cost assistance for eligible families to buy their first home.  The City also provides subsidies to private developers throughout the City to provide affordable housing units for purchase or renting.   In addition, the Single Family Rehabilitation program provides low-interest deferred loans to homeowners in the City of Miami to repair their properties.  For more information click here, call 311 or 305-416-2080.

Florida Housing Finance Corporation

Florida Housing Finance Corporation provides funding to developers to provide affordable rental housing throughout the State.  For more information about rental housing funded by Florida Housing, call (850) 488-4197. For other Florida Housing Finance Corporation information click here.