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State renews grant to support UT Minority Business Assistance Center Program operations

The state awarded The University of Toledo a $330,000, two-year grant to continue to host the Minority Business Assistance Center Program that serves the 17-county region.

The program, which supports economic development in northwest Ohio by providing resources for minority-owned, early stage businesses, is housed in the UT Minority Business Development Center (MBDC) on Scott Park Campus and funded through the Ohio Development Services Agency Minority Business Development Division.

“The University of Toledo Minority Business Development Center is once again glad to be selected an award site for this important grant,” said Dr. Shanda Gore, associate vice president of the Minority Business Development Center and the Catharine S. Eberly Center for Women. “We are one of the few incubators in the country that focuses on minority businesses. This award supports our commitment to the community, our students and research to support business growth and economic development.”

The program offers no-cost counseling, state certification support and trainings focused on creating jobs and increasing sales.

“Through our partnerships across the state, minority-owned businesses will be better supported in their growth and development,” said Jeffrey L. Johnson, chief of the Minority Business Development Division at the Ohio Development Services Agency.

The grant will be used in Toledo to hire a regional director and an operations manager.

Last year the MBDC’s 11 member companies and 11 affiliate companies supported 97 jobs and generated $15.5 million in sales.

Since receiving the state grant in 2015, the Minority Business Assistance Center Program in Toledo engaged 211 new clients. It helped 33 companies earn minority business certification and helped 37 earn EDGE certification, which recognizes workplace gender equality.

In two years, $2.3 million in capital was awarded in approved state bonds to minority-owned businesses that grew with the help of the program. The companies also were awarded 649 public sector contracts valued at $22.3 million. In the first grant-cycle period, 2,400 jobs were retained and 110 jobs were created.

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