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In an effort to help bolster up-and-coming enterprises, Macy’s announced the creation of a one-of-a-kind program covering the business of fashion - The Workshop at Macy’s. Setting the stage for retail business innovation, The Workshop at Macy’s aims to nurture and grow the next generation of minority and women-owned retail talent. The Workshop is the latest evolution of Macy’s long-standing commitment to vendor diversity and to providing customers with unique goods and services that meet their lifestyle.

The specially designed business development curriculum of “The Workshop” is aimed at minority and women-owned retail businesses that are poised to succeed on a larger scale, but need additional tools on business practices to move to the next level and sustain growth. The four and a half-day intensive training course, to be held in May 2011 at Macy’s Herald Square offices in New York City, will be taught by Macy’s seasoned executives and industry experts, as well as key retail partners. With this annual program, Macy’s hopes to create a pipeline of viable vendors that will grow to become successful partners within Macy’s own vendor community.

Chairman Joe A. Martinez is encouraging business owners in his district to apply for the annual Mom and Pop Small Business Grant Program. Applicants may be eligible to receive up to $5,000 that can be used for purchasing equipment, supplies, inventory, commercial liability insurance, security systems, advertising, and marketing and making minor renovations. The application period will be from January 10 to January 24, 2011.

Applicants must meet the following criteria to be eligible for consideration:

  • Business must be located in District 11
  • Provide proof (in the business’ name) that the business has been operating for at least one year (e.g. include copy of company’s license, state incorporations, sales tax, income tax or utility bill)
  • Must submit copy of current Local Business Tax receipt (Miami-Dade County Occupational License) or paid receipt. Business name on application must match one on license. If license not required by Miami-Dade County, applicant must provide written proof from Tax Collector’s Department.

Fellow Jamaicans and Friends of Jamaica, as the year 2010 comes to a close we look forward in the expectation of opportunities for renewal and progress. We must take cognizance of our blessings as a people and country who continue with fortitude to build a great nation comprised of Jamaicans at home and abroad. We remain all mindful of our respective roles and responsibilities while we reflect on the past and place our hope in the future.

Throughout the past year, your Consulate General has made every effort in its essential task of protecting in the jurisdiction of Florida, the Southern USA, the Cayman Islands and the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, the interests of our nationals, both individuals and bodies corporate, within the limits permitted by international law. Equally we have been engaged in furthering the development of commercial, economic, cultural and scientific relations in the interest of Jamaica. We have not done this alone. We have called upon and received much assistance from the coalition of Jamaican Alumni and individual groups, the Diaspora Community leadership and organizations, the officials of city, county and State with whom we have interacted. Indeed, we have called upon, and have been the recipient of a continuous flow of goodwill. We remain grateful for your support.

The ACLU today was joined by Congresswoman-Elect Frederica S. Wilson, whose district includes Miami’s Little Haiti, in calling on President Barack Obama and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to refrain from deporting Haitian nationals with criminal records who have completed their sentences.

In the letter sent today by the ACLU’s Washington Legislative Director Laura Murphy and ACLU of Florida Executive Director Howard Simon, and co-signed by Congresswoman-Elect Frederica S. Wilson, the ACLU implored restraint on the part of the Administration in light of pressing human rights and humanitarian concerns and the raging cholera epidemic that has taken hold in Haiti.

“We ask President Obama to hold off on removing Haitian nationals from this country in light of the horrific conditions now facing our neighboring nation,” said Howard Simon, ACLU of Florida Executive Director. “It is within his power to show leadership and prevent a civil liberties and human rights disaster.”