District 8 Newsletter

A Message from Broward County District 8 Commissioner Barbara Sharief

2014 was the year that Broward County adopted the initiative “BROWARD MEANS BUSINESS.” And that’s what we did. We got down to business, recognizing our local businesses, the backbone of our county. 
 
Through my Mayor’s “BROWARD MEANS BUSINESS” initiative we nurtured, incubated, mentored and encouraged business growth and job creation with a variety of specialized seminars, programs, partnerships, loans and incentive opportunities.

And we saw results. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics there were 65,242 private business establishments in Broward County in the first quarter of 2014. This represents an increase of 937 over the previous year’s same period and an increase of 408 over the previous quarter of last year.

$133 million was awarded in small business loans to 259 Broward County firms. We expect to create some 1,300 new jobs as a result of this financial assistance.

Sound, prudent and well planned projects and capital spending have catapulted our county into new prosperity. I’m proud to report that the state of Broward County is STRONG and STABLE, securing a path for growth and sustainability in the future. 

As we move forward, I am excited to work with each of you and together we can continue to grow our cities and ensure that Broward County continues to be an incredible county to live, work and play in!

I welcome your comments and want to hear which issues are important to you. Send an e-mail to me at bsharief@Broward.org or call my office at 954-357-7008. Also, check out my Facebook page at Facebook.com/barbara.sharief" or on Twitter at Twitter.com/bestmom39.

Barbara


Broward 100 to Honor Individuals & Businesses 100 Years Old

As part of Broward 100: Celebrating the Art of Community, the County’s centennial celebration, we would like to honor Broward County residents who are 100 years or older, and Broward-based businesses that will reach their 100th year by 2015. If you know any person or business that is going to be at least 100 by October 2015, please let my office know. Email me at bsharief@broward.org or call 954-357-7008. For more information about our centennial celebrations, go to Broward.org

Seasonal Flu

Seasonal flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by flu viruses. It spreads between people and can cause mild to severe illness. In some cases, the flu can lead to death. Approximately 5-20 percent of U.S. residents get the flu each year and more than
200,000 people are hospitalized for flu-related complications.

  • Flu season typically starts in the fall and peaks in January or February, but it can occur as early as October and as late as May.
  • Getting the flu vaccine is your best protection against the flu.
  • Flu-related complications include pneumonia and dehydration.
  • Illness from seasonal flu usually lasts one to two weeks.


    Most experts believe that you get the flu when a person with the flu coughs, sneezes, or talks and droplets containing their germs land in your mouth or nose. You can also get the flu by touching a surface or object that has the flu virus on it and then touching your mouth, eyes, or nose.

 


Some groups are more likely to experience complications from the seasonal flu, including:

The best protection against seasonal flu is the flu vaccine. The 2014 flu vaccine is now available. You should also follow everyday steps, such as washing your hands and covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, to keep yourself healthy.
For details, visit flu.gov.


Affordable Healthcare Act

Open enrollment in the 2015 Health Insurance Marketplace will provide information to families and small businesses that currently don’t have insurance, or need an alternative to what they currently have. Open enrollment in the Marketplace began on November 15, 2014. To enroll, visit Healthcare.gov or call 1-800-318-2596 (24 hours a day/7 days a week).
Here are the most important dates for 2015 coverage:

December 15, 2014: The last date to enroll for coverage that starts on January 1, 2015

December 31, 2014: Date when all 2014 Marketplace coverage ends, no matter when you enrolled

January 1, 2015: The date 2015 coverage can start if you applied by December 15, 2014, or if you accept automatic enrollment in your 2014 plan or a similar plan. For more information, visit HealthCare.gov and select KEEP OR CHANGE YOUR PLAN.

February 15, 2015: The last day to enroll in 2015 coverage. If you miss this deadline, you can’t sign up for a health plan inside or outside the Marketplace for the rest of 2015. The only exception is if you qualify for a special enrollment period.

There is no limited enrollment period for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) or for small businesses to enroll in SHOP coverage for their employees. You can apply at any time.


Serving on County Boards

We are seeking residents with an interest in public service to represent the needs of the district. If you are interested in being considered, please forward a detailed resumé to bsharief@broward.org. Be sure to include your permanent address, phone number and email address; whether you are a registered voter; whether you are a registered lobbyist; whether you serve on any other board, authority or agency (dual office holding); whether you are related to any Commissioner; and whether you have any potential conflicting business relationship. For a description of Boards, visit Broward.org/Intergovernmental and select BOARDS AND COMMITTEES.

Small Business Resources

The Broward County Office of Economic and Small Business Development (OESBD) supports Broward County businesses and their success by providing a comprehensive roster of client-focused services. Technical assistance is available to local businesses in a range of topics from information on current public procurement opportunities to financing. Firms interested in OESBD technical assistance services should call 954-357-6400 or visit Broward.org/EconDev. Free seminars are designed to provide the South Florida business community with a working knowledge of Florida’s participation in the States Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI). The U.S. Department of Treasury allocated more than $97.6 million to implement the SSBCI which supports Florida’s two major programs benefitting small businesses in need of financing.

In addition, the Miramar-based AvanzeCorp, Inc., has launched “150 in 1 Year” to assist entrepreneurs with resources during start-up and mentoring for their first five years in business. The 150 seats will be on a first come, first served basis. Call AvanzeCorp Inc. at 888-848-7771 or email at info@avanzecorp.com to register.


Foreclosures and Housing Assistance

If you received a foreclosure or eviction notice from the Broward Sheriff’s Office, you should also receive a resource guide listing the agencies that may be able to help you in the foreclosure process or to obtain alternate housing. For information regarding the National Mortgage Settlement you can contact the National Mortgage Settlement Administrator at 1-866-430-8358. For information regarding the Making Home Affordable Program – a mortgage modification program - call 888-995-HOPE (4673) and for further assistance with home buying or foreclosure call the Housing Foundation of America at 954-923-5001.

Helpful Resources

Broward County Family Success Administration Division assists individuals and families with accessing the services they need to build a stronger, healthier and self-sufficient family unit. The centers provide assessment and case management, and, if eligible, rent/mortgage and utility assistance. If you have recently had a loss of income, received an eviction notice/mortgage default letter, or a water/electricity shut off notice, visit Broward.org/HumanServices/FamilySuccess/ or call 954-357-5650 or 954-357-5001 to find out how they can help you. The South Family Success Center is located in Commission District 8 at 4733 S.W. 18 Street, West Park, 33023 (Broward County Transit Route 5). If you are over 60, or are a veteran, contact the Elderly and Veteran's Services Division at 954-357-6622.

2-1-1 Broward is available 24 hours a day to help you find food, housing, health care, senior services, child care, legal aid and much more. For a complete list of services, dial 2-1-1 or (954) 537-0211, TTY (954) 390-0492 211, or go to 211-broward.com/.

To receive communications (such as this newsletter) from my office via email, or to arrange for myself or my Community Outreach Liaison, Launa Carbonell to attend your neighborhood or homeowner association meeting, please contact Launa at 954-357-7008 or lcarbonell@broward.org.

Other Resources

For Access to Healthcare or Relief from Homelessness:
Broward.org/CommunityPartnerships
954-357-8647

Emergency Financial Assistance:
Broward.org/Family
954-357-6367

Legal Aid Services of Broward County, Inc.
www.legalaid.org/broward
954-765-8950