In Miami's hard-hit Little Haiti 'We never give up'

Bertot Joisil's adopted hometown is Columbus, Ohio. The Haitian-born engineer used to live in Miami, which is why he makes Little Haiti a required stop on every visit back to South Florida -- even if he never gets out of the car.

``It's always a pleasure to come here and immerse in Haitian culture,'' Joisil said. ``Even if it means driving by, just to get the feel of it.''

The recession has been hard on businesses in Little Haiti, and this summer brings a lull in visitors coming back to the area. Construction along Northeast Second Avenue, the neighborhood's main drag, hasn't helped. But many small-business owners said they feel they have no choice but to stick it out.

Compared to any other neighborhood in Miami, Little Haiti has the largest percentage of informal income, according to Social Compact, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that provides economic data on inner-city neighborhoods.

That makes quantifying the impact of this recession even more difficult, said Social Compact CEO John Talmage.

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