MIAMI — After grappling with construction in the area for at least a year, the Flagler Street district in downtown Miami has new infrastructure updgrades.
But the work took a toll on some mom-and-pop businesses that are now getting some much needed help from the Miami Downtown Development Authority, which is set to provide some economic assistance.
Thirty businesses in the area will receive a $5,000 check from the agency.
Carlos Caballero said he was optimistic about the money he should receive Friday.
As manager at La Licuadora – the blender, in English – his Peruvian restaurant was among the ones set to receive the stipend.
“We welcome any money at this time,” said Caballero, whose business survived the economic crisis of COVID but then faced the construction in the area of 1st Street NE and 2nd Avenue. “People don’t want to come to the this area because they don’t have a place to park.”
Local authorities decided to divide the work area into sections with businesses located in the Phase 1 zone receiving their $5,000 checks a few months ago.
“Now we are continuing that program for the second phase,” said Manolo Reyes, a Miami City Commissioner who is also the chairman of the Miami Downtown Development, adding that if needed more money would be given to establishments depending of the time the reconstruction may take.
Some of the Phase 1 businesses are starting to see the light.
“People used to not want to come because they had to drive in circles,” said Alexandra Garcia, who works at a pizza place in downtown.
For Caballero, the money received will help with their $7,000 monthly rent.
The reconstruction work could take at least six more months, officials said.
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