District 8 Newsletter

A Message from Broward County Commissioner Barbara Sharief

Alliance groupI believe small businesses are very important to not only my district, but to all of Broward County. The Broward County Office of Economic and Small Business Development (OESBD) is responsible for enhancing the economy of Broward County by recruiting new industry, supporting existing industries, and creating new value-added employment opportunities for residents. Its mission is to promote job growth, diversify the County's industrial mix, and expand the local tax base. OESBD offers a number of seminars and workshops each month for the budding entrepreneur or the seasoned operator. If you would like to learn more about these events or get tips on growing your business, please visit http://www.broward.org/econdev/SmallBusiness.

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


Homeless Children Need Your Help

County and Kiwanis Division 23 and 24 have partnered once again to host Christmas in July which provides homeless children, from infants to age 18, with new clothing. School-aged children also receive school supplies for the upcoming year. Items are matched to each child’s needs and are made possible through the generosity of Broward County residents and County employees. Please donate only new items such as underwear (toddlers through teens), shoes, socks, belts, clothing (newborns through teens); and diapers, Pull-Ups and baby wipes. Collection boxes are located at select County facilities such as the downtown Governmental Center, Government Center West, Main and Regional Courthouses and at all Broward County Libraries through July 9th.

Summer R.E.A.Ding Program Starts June 6th

Broward County Library’s free 2015 Summer R.E.A.D.ing (Reading, Exploration, Art, Discovery) Program kicks off June 6th at 33 Broward County Library branches. The Summer R.E.A.D.ing Program is a fun way to encourage young people to read, explore and discover all summer long. Children ages 18 and under can register for the Program and enter to win prizes and rewards and can participate in either the online enhanced program or at library locations Countywide. Through August 16th, 17 library locations will provide free lunch and afternoon snacks for children ages 18 and under on a first-come, first-served basis. Visit Broward.org/Library.

Miramar Family Wins Switcheroo Contest

The Broward Water Partnership, a collaboration of 18 local governments and water utilities, is pleased to announce the lucky homeowner who received new water and energy-saving appliances including a refrigerator, washer, dryer, dishwasher, irrigation system and water-conserving plumbing fixtures for the kitchen and bath.Monique Francis of Miramar won the contest by writing a poem and her children created illustrations. In her narrative, Ms. Francis noted that as single mother of four, she's learned to 'trim the fat' financially and by using the washing machine and irrigation system less, she could really see a difference in her water bill. "It doesn't take much to cut back, as the outcome is not only beneficial for us now, but also for future generations. Clean water equals life and water conservation ensures our future survival. Small changes today equal big rewards tomorrow," she wrote.The "Switcheroo" was a fun promotional contest, but winning wasn't easy. As part of the contest application process, the Broward Water Partnership asked applicants to provide more than a basic application. The contest required that people think about water conservation, explain why it's important, and why they should be selected as the big winner.

Enjoy a Sunset Nature Walk

South Florida is well known for its sunsets. Now you can enjoy the end-of-the-day magic at Miramar Pineland (3600 S. University Drive, Miramar), which will offer twice-monthly Sunset Nature Walks on Wednesdays and Sundays, from 5:30 to 7PM. The fee is $3 per person per walk, plus, on Sundays, the park's regular weekend gate entrance fee of $1.50 per person. Future dates of this program include: June 7th. For more information call 954-357-8776.

Registration is open for the Airport Minority Advisory Council (AMAC) 2015 Airport Business Diversity Conference

The AMAC Conference will take place at the Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort and Spa to be held from June 12 - 16, 2015. Sanctioned as one of the County's Broward100 Centennial celebration events, the conference is themed "Business Beyond the Beach: ELEVATING Global Opportunity" and will emphasize AMAC's focus on developing international markets while highlighting Broward County's unique, strategic geographic position as a "Gateway to the Americas" and a hub of South Florida. The Conference provides a platform for airports, corporations, entrepreneurs and the federal government to participate in engaging and relevant educational and networking events. The 2015 Airport Business Diversity Conference is sponsored by the Broward County Aviation Department and the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) with support by the Office of Economic and Small Business Development.

For more information on the upcoming conference, contact Jasmine Jones, AMAC Local Planning Committee Chairperson and Broward County Office of Economic and Small Business Development Community Relations and Outreach Manager, by phone at 954-357-8076, or visit Broward.org/EconDev.

BCC Meetings On-Demand

As part of Broward County’s ongoing commitment to transparency, video recordings of Commission meetings are now archived online and available for on-demand viewing by noon the day after the meeting on our Commission Meetings and Agenda webpage. You can now enjoy the convenience of viewing Commission meetings 24/7. County Commission meetings are televised live on Tuesday’s beginning at 10AM. You can watch those meetings on Comcast channels 12 and 77, Advance Communications channels 25 and 42, and AT&T U-verse channel 99. They are also live, on-line at Broward.org’s Video Central. The meetings are rebroadcast each Friday starting at 5:30PM.

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.

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 me 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:

Emergency Financial Assistance:

Legal Aid Services of Broward County, Inc.