Associate Member, Giovanni Castro of Verizon has asked that we share the message below.

As we enter National Small Business Week, I’m inspired by the ingenuity of our small business customers and their ability to pivot how they do business virtually overnight in today’s extraordinary circumstances. From the retailer who went from a packed store to curbside pickup overnight, to the design agency who is now servicing all their customers virtually, the ability of small businesses to become digitally proficient to drive revenue has been nothing short of incredible.

According to a recent Verizon Small Business survey, nearly two out of three (63%) small businesses are utilizing digital tools and technologies to change business processes and customer experiences. Additionally, 40% of small businesses stated that COVID-19 drove them to increase revenue generated through digital and online operations. Small businesses are embracing technology in a big way and these solutions will be key to recovery and success. It’s clear that connectivity has been a catalyst for how small businesses have been able to adapt over the last year and a half. I’m excited that our network has been able to help propel small businesses into new realms of customer experience, profitability, operational dexterity, and the ability to work anywhere.

It is our responsibility to continue to provide our customers with new innovations using the power of our network to move their businesses forward today and tomorrow. Our teams are partnering with small businesses every day to create personalized solutions and innovate. So what does that mean? Verizon Business is answering the call in a few ways.

We’re working with customers every day to ensure that they can conduct business wherever and whenever they need, leveraging our best-in-class solutions such as our remote collaboration video conferencing solution, BlueJeans by Verizon. Customers are also embracing mobile-first phone solutions like One Talk, which assigns one number that rings multiple compatible mobile devices, desk phones and PCs. This means fewer missed calls and more opportunities to connect.

Then, there’s the opportunities that 5G can provide. 58% of small business owners believe that 5G will create new opportunities within their industry. We are working with our customers in providing them with 5G mobile devices and our 5G Business Internet. Finally, security is top of mind in this new, massive work from home model. We have a host of solutions ranging from device to network security to help our small business customers work securely wherever they are operating.

Next week, we are bringing back Small Business Days, where small and medium business customers can access special discounts and no activation fees. Small and medium businesses can visit a participating store or book a virtual appointment at to access special discounts and jumpstart areas of their business including communications, connectivity, and security. Beyond advice and support, starting 9/13 through 9/17, small and medium business owners will be able to take advantage of limited time offers and get up to $1,000 off a new 5G phone with trade-in and a new line.

Throughout the week, we’ll also be sharing conversations that we’ve had with some of our small business customers across Verizon Business social handles. Hopefully their stories will inspire you in the same way they’ve inspired me.

Finally, today we announced a new program called “Verizon Small Business Digital Ready.” It is part of Citizen Verizon, our responsible business plan with the goal to provide one million businesses with the tools and resources needed to help them thrive in the digital economy by 2030. The online portal is open to any business for free. Small businesses will find a unique customized experience focused on their needs depending on industry, size and interests. Verizon Small Business Digital Ready was developed by small business owners and is easy to use, with all resources available in one place. The portal provides a personalized experience, providing resources, networking and coaching tailored to a small business’s specific needs. The program can help small businesses move forward in four ways: actionable content modules, expert Coaching, Peer Networking and a marketplace of tools, solutions, products and services that can help small businesses. Small businesses will also be eligible to apply for grant funding exclusive to users of Verizon Small Business Digital Ready.*Participants who register for the Verizon Small Business Accelerator and complete two courses or mentoring events will be eligible to apply for a $10,000 grant.

So, small businesses—on behalf of Verizon Business, I salute you and all you have done the last year and a half to survive and thrive. As you enter this next phase, you deserve a partner that can help you navigate the future, and Verizon Business is here providing tailored expertise, solutions, connectivity and security necessary to help you achieve business success. Learn more how here.

By: Wendy Taccetta


About the author(s):

Wendy is the Senior Vice President for Nationwide Small Business and Channel Chief for Verizon Business, leading a team of 1,400+ employees committed to accelerating small business growth.

Giovanni R. Castro


State & Local Government Affairs
Public Policy, Law & Security
O 305 962 6734
M 305 978 4853
1921 NW 87th Avenue
Miami, FL 33172





Associate Member, Sandra P. Gonzalez, SR. VP of School Readiness and VPK, Early Learning Coalition has asked that we share the attached flyer. See attached ELCMDM About Us…





Associate Member Jeffrey R. Tart of the South Florida Regional Planning Council has asked that we share an update on their CARES ACT RLF program. Please see attached League of Cities – SFRPC Cares Act RLF Update.





Associate Member Marta Casas-Celaya of Comcast has asked that we share the information below and the flyer attached SOUTH FLORIDA RISE Investment fund.


The Comcast RISE Investment Fund provides monetary grants to help small,minority-owned businesses grow as they navigate the challenges of the pandemic.


The Investment Fund is the latest extension of ComcastRISE (Representation,Investment, Strength, Empowerment), the multi-year, multi-faceted initiativelaunched in 2020 to provide small businesses owned by entrepreneurs of diverse backgrounds the opportunity to apply for marketing, technology, and capital resources.  Comcast RISE is part of a larger $100 million Diversity, Equity andInclusion initiative launched by Comcast to fight injustice and inequality againstany race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, or ability.


            The Comcast RISE Investment Fund will award $1 million in $10,000 cash grants to 100 minority-owned small businesses in Miami-Dade and Broward counties.

GRANT DETAILS – Grants totaling $1 million will be distributed as follows:

  • 100 small businesses in Miami-Dade & Broward
  • Each business will receive a $10,000 monetary grant
  • Application period is October 1-14, 2021
  • Grants will be announced at the end of November 2021 and will be awarded in December 2021
  • For more information or to apply,


GRANT   ELIGIBILITY  – Businesses must:

  • Be established and in operation for 3 or more years
  • Employ a maximum of 25 people; full or part time
  • Be at least 51% minority owned and operated; including Hispanic, Black, Indigenous, Asian or of mixed ethnic or racial background, among others.
  • Be independently owned and operated.
  • Be registered to conduct business in the US.


If a business is not eligible for the Comcast RISE Investment Fund, applications are being accepted for marketing and technology services.

Apply Oct. 1 – 14



Associate Member, Jackye L. Russell of the Early Learning Coalition has asked that we share the attached flyer. See attached ELCMDM About Us…


Associate Member, Malcolm Eve of Crown Castle has asked that we share the link below and information attached. See attached Florida Polling_State and Florida Polling_Sout…



Associate Member Eralda Agolli of the South Florida Regional Planning Council has asked that we share the information below and attached. Please see attached EDA Connect Agenda and American Rescue Plan. 

Here are the South Florida Regional Planning Council’s resources/events:


  1. Attached is our upcoming Supporting Economic Development in South Florida Webinaragenda. The meeting is taking place next week on Wednesday, May 26 from 10am – 12pm. Folks are welcome to join and hear about our services and grant funding opportunities at the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration.
  2. We identified and researched various federal, state, and philanthropic grant opportunities that might be useful to public, private, and nonprofit organizations.  You may find the info on our website at . If some of the links do not work, please note that we are regularly updating them since agencies tend to update their own info and/or website pages.
  3. We have also posted the American Rescue Plan Federal Investment Guide in the above link and the PDF is also attached for your info or to share. The detailed guide was put together by the Drexel University Nowak Metro Finance Lab and Accelerator for America.


Let me know if you have any questions.



Thank you,


Eralda Agolli



Associate Member Rene Alvarez of CIC Hotaling Insurance has asked that we share the message below.

For those municipalities that are not currently members and under the FMIT- Florida Municipal Insurance Trust program, now is the best time to reach out to FMIT or Rene Alvarez and request Property, Casualty and Workers Compensation comparison quotes.  Either through an RFP or direct proposal request- insurance quotes will be effective starting on 10/1 and available in early July, so you can budget accordingly.


Rene Alvarez E.V.P.

Municipal Risks

D 305-393-8987





Associate Member Liz Dewitt of the Florida Beverage Association has asked that we share the link below to a video regarding the industry’s efforts on recycling and reducing plastic waste.





Associate Member Moises Ariza of Marcum LLP has asked that we share two links to articles below.