Speak Up!

Small Businesses Should Support Stadium

(The following comments are excerpted from testimony in Tallahassee by Marti Bueso, a business woman owner supporting Sen. Bill 306 to allow a one-cent tourist tax increase in Miami-Dade County for Sun Life Stadium expansion).

Modernization of Sun Life Stadium will positively impact your business! But you have to go after the business! People will not come to you asking to help you increase your sales.

This project will help attract future Super Bowls, including the 50th Anniversary Super Bowl in 2016, College Football Championship games, Pan Am games, international soccer, etc. But how will that impact you?

For me, the “Power of One” was highlighted the week between Christmas/New Year’s, a typically slow business time, by recounting how a positive impact of just one event affected one small business: Trias Flowers. (One week, one game: the historic New Year’s Day Orange Bowl game, Northern Illinois vs. FSU).

Not waiting for business to trickle down, we contacted the two universities and local organizations directly. The universities hosted events for their alumni and supporters, and the University of Miami also held events around the city during Orange Bowl week.

Trias provided flowers for several of these events, grossing dollars that wouldn’t have been available if these events were not brought to Miami. It allowed Trias, celebrating 100 years in business; to keep the workforce at full staff, without temporary hourly cutbacks, Drivers worked full shifts; a few earned overtime pay.

The results: one employee took his pet to the veterinarian; another took children to see Cinderella at Actor’s Playhouse, a third took his mother for an MRI; and fourth paid for family haircuts. Still another visited ZooMiami; one visited Jungle Island; another went to the dentist. A lot of money? No.

But small business owners know how we survive day by day, one sale at a time, one connection at a time; $1 spent with another. The Miami Dolphins, the first professional sports team in Florida, has grown up with our community, supporting us with their various philanthropic donations and service projects.

They’ve backed tourism and jobs by attracting Super Bowls and National Championship games and by moving their corporate headquarters to Miami-Dade. I encourage you to become informed about this potential project and its impact on small businesses.

Over 80% of businesses in Dade are small companies with fewer than 20 employees. Without opportunities from additional venues, we can only continue selling to each other. That’s why I applaud this great nation of opportunity; creating ways to assist people with their eagerness and enthusiasm in their quest for success…

For more information on the modernization plans for Sun Life Stadium, visit www.MiamiFIRST.com

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