New Fish Tank Gets Big Boosts

Partnership with black business community, commissioners' vote move Marlins closer to home

IBSYS.nbcvideo.appendVideo( 18231685, 1060049, 220, 240, 22024); An historic agreement may give the Florida Marlins a green light for the stadium and could provide a boost to local businesses.

The Miami Dade Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the NAACP will announce a historic agreement with the Marlins today at 11:15 a.m., during a signing ceremony at the Annual Business Leaders Luncheon at Jungle Island in Tree Top Ballroom.

"This is a great day for black business, not only in Miami, but nation-wide. It shows the strength of collaboration between the NAACP as an advocacy group and the chamber of commerce as an effective economic development organization. This agreement creates a standard for partnerships and how they should work in the Black community across the country," Bill Diggs, president of the Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce.

According to the compact, the Marlins have agreed to provide black-owned businesses with 15% of the Marlins' private contribution in construction contracts, as well seek to provide 15% of its contracts for product and services annually.

Meanwhile, a unanimous vote by Miami commissioners to extend the life of the Overtown special special taxing district.has moved the team closer to the new home it has sought for years, reported the Miami Herald.

But to hear Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones tell it, the vote had little to do with baseball and everything to do with economic development in her community.

She made it clear that she would not be voting for the Marlins' new stadium until her district received the economic help it had been promised in 2007. In December of that year, the city and county unveiled $3 billion in public works projects that included a new baseball stadium and improvements for Overtown.

''We want to make sure we leave a legacy to the Overtown residents,'' Spence-Jones said, eliciting cheers from the audience.

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