KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Help is on the way for minority-owned businesses in Kansas City.
City leaders have a plan to make grant money available to help entrepreneurs launch their dreams, or to make existing small businesses stronger. Other facets of the program will offer low-interest loan dollars available at rate much lower than banks offer.
The American Dream needs a little help in some neighborhoods, and Kansas City leaders are targeting low-to-moderate income areas of the city.
Business operators like Nicole Hor, who founded Nimann African Hair Braiding at 55th and Troost 17 years ago, are excited by the multi-tiered City of Entrepreneurs program, which is being spearheaded by Kansas City Bizcare. Part of that program will use $300,000 in grant money from the Kauffman Foundation, to create a business accelerator designated to help minority-owned businesses.
“ I think it’s going to be awesome,” Hor smiled. “Small businesses that are minority owned need help.”
The hope is that by helping businesses in struggling neighborhoods, the city’s overall economic success level will rise.
“It’s going to help to grow the business — those businesses who have to grow, so with that fund, it’s going to be so helpful, Hor said.
Samuel Morris, who works as a small business advocacy coordinator with Kansas City Bizcare, recognizes the frustrations startup business operators experience.
Morris’ office aims to help would-be business owners with the basics, such as acquiring a proper business license and making sense of the complicated parts of being an entrepreneur.
“We want to make Kansas City so entrepreneurially-friendly that you, your neighbor, your spouse knows what it takes to start a business,” Morris said.
Morris said city leaders will soon launch a census to give them an overall bird’s eye view of Kansas City entrepreneurs who qualify and what they need. He said terms of the program are still being written, and the application part of the process should begin after the first of the year.
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