By George “Bud” Scholl, Former Mayor
(September 29, 2020) – In the wake of the pandemic, times have been hard for all of us, especially local businesses and cultural institutions. We all agree that the economy needs a major boost due to the significant effects of COVID-19, and one of the simplest ways to help is by purchasing from locally owned businesses, thus keeping money in out community.
Sunny Isles Beach is home to a plethora of local stores and restaurants, many owned by SIB residents. And Miami-Dade County is ripe with shops you can help support.
Also just as important to support are the cultural institutions that have become fixtures of art, education and history in our community. As the County reopens, we must remember the value that these cultural institutions have in our lives and in our community. In Sunny Isles Beach, access to the arts has been a top priority through the Art in Public Places program, the establishment of the Public Arts Advisory Committee, and the creation of various cultural programs such as our Gateway LIVE! series. And as residents of Miami-Dade County, we’ve always had access to world renowned art, museums, and cultural events.
But places like the Frost Museum of Science, Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, and the Perez Art Museum are all taking a toll due to shutdowns and temporary closures.
This is why the County Commission allocated $10 million in COVID-19 relief funds to support the arts and cultural business sector. These funds will be a lifeline for many institutions, but may not be enough. In addition to regular operating costs, many of these institutions face high maintenance costs due to the nature of their facilities. If you are in a position to help, I encourage you to do so by donating, visiting in-person, purchasing an annual membership, or registering for a virtual activity.
You can help support our local businesses by ordering dinner from the restaurant down the street from your home, stopping by the family-owned store rather than the chain, or entertaining your kids with in-person and virtual resources at the museums and cultural institutions all around us.
If we do not provide support now, these businesses and institutions may not be around in the years to come. To keep our economy thriving and get back on track, our local businesses and organizations need our support now more than ever.