June 2017

State-backed minority business development program changes hands

From Columbus Business First

By Jeremy Hill

A stated-backed program to assist minority-owned businesses in Central Ohio has changed hands for the first time in more than 30 years.

The state of Ohio on Monday tapped the Columbus Urban League to operate the region’s Minority Business Assistance Center, which had been operated by the Central Ohio Minority Business Association since the 1980s, president Kim Knights said.

The Columbus Urban League will aim to help minority-owned businesses with annual revenues over $1 million, according to its proposal.

It will also collaborate with the Economic and Community Development Institute, a Columbus nonprofit, to provide access to capital for its target businesses. Citing a Gallup report, Columbus Urban League’s proposal states just 13 percent of minority-owned business owners feel they’re able to get all the credit they need.

“We look forward to leveraging our historic reputation and solid public and private partnerships to ensure quality access to capital, resources and expertise for minority-owned and small businesses to grow and expand,” Columbus Urban League President and CEO Stephanie Hightower said in a press release.

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