The monthly Beautification Award presented by the Economic Development Council (EDC) and TotalBank on July 22 went to area businessman Vijay P. Rampersad to acknowledge the improvements made to the commercial property located at 9742 Banyan St. in Palmetto Bay.
Frieda Brown, vice president of TotalBank, made the presentation at the EDC meeting and stressed the importance of recognizing such improvements as those done by Rampersad.
“He has done a lot for the building,” Brown said. “He blacktopped the pavement, he painted the building, he put flowers toward the back and flowers on that corner. It brightened up that whole corner. It really made a difference. I just wish all of our businesses that are on a corner could do something like that. It would make our community look so much better and help revitalize it.”
Brown said that it is not just a matter of esthetics; it also makes good sense from a practical standpoint.
“When businesses beautify their buildings, it brings more customers in, and people passing by will notice it,” she said.
Brown said that the bank has been giving the award since 1992, after Hurricane Andrew had such a negative impact on the area. As businesses returned and grew, efforts to beautify the area have lifted everyone’s spirits.
Rampersad has been at that location for almost 16 years and admits that at times it has been a struggle. But he remains optimistic and advises other business people to never give up. The award helps lift his spirits, too.
“It’s good to be recognized for what you’re doing,” Rampersad said. “There’s a lot of hard work and I’ve come a long way with that property. I decided to try something a little different. I appreciate this award.”