MINNEAPOLIS (Dec. 12, 2014) — The Minneapolis City Council approved today $550,000 in new funding to be dispersed through 10 contracts to nonprofit providers to support small- and medium-sized businesses to start, stay and grow in Minneapolis.
With these contracts, the City now has 16 total Business Technical Assistance Program (B-TAP) providers and $1,050,000 allocated to the program to support the development of Minneapolis entrepreneurs and small businesses.
“For Minneapolis to continue growing, it is important that we pay attention to how we are pursuing that growth,” said Mayor Betsy Hodges. “Supporting micro-entrepreneurs, especially in communities of color, is key to achieving sustainable, inclusive economic growth.”
B-TAP works primarily with minority- and women-owned small- and medium-sized businesses that provide employment to individuals from socially- and economically-disadvantaged groups including minority ethnic groups and new arrivals to the U.S. Through September 2014, B-TAP resources supported the creation of 32 new businesses, 181 new jobs, and the retention of 406 jobs. Businesses assisted through the program in 2014 were owned by a diverse set of entrepreneurs with over 94 percent of program clients being minority-owned businesses and 55 percent being women-owned.
“Small- and medium-sized businesses are the cornerstone of our economy,” said Craig Taylor, City of Minneapolis Director of Community Planning and Economic Development. “I am proud that we are able to expand the Business Technical Assistance Program to include additional partners that will help us strategically reach currently under served populations and focus on closing the disparities gap.”
B-TAP nonprofit contract providers are focused on business development and already have an established community network, cultural competency and technical skills. B-TAP contracts are awarded for two year periods. In 2015, five new providers will be added to the 11 existing providers for a total of 16 providers.
The five new providers include: The Small Business Development Center (SBDC)housed at St Thomas University (SBDC) which has a strong model to support second stage business growth; African Economic Development Solutions (AEDS)to serve the Minneapolis African immigrant business community,with a particular focus on Oromo, Ethiopian and Eritrean business owners; The West BankBusiness Association (WBBA) to provide support to the 100 plus businesses located in the West Bank area; The Association of Women Contractors (AWC) to bring their expertise in Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) certification and procurement training to women-owned construction businesses; and the Corcoran Neighborhood Association to recruit businesses to vacant store fronts and a new development proposed at Lake and Hiawatha.
B-TAP’s existing providers include: the African Development Center (ADC), Asian Economic Development Center (AEDA), Lake Street Council, Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC), Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers (MCCD), Metropolitan Economic Development Association (MEDA), North Central Minority Supplier Development Council, Neighborhood Development Center (NDC), Northside Economic Opportunity Network (NEON), Seward Redesign, and Women Venture.
“Neighborhood Development Center provided the business consulting support we needed to feel ready to expand into a larger restaurant space at the Midtown Global Market and they were with us every step of the way including helping to find low interest rate loans,” said Thomas Kim owner of the Rabbit Hole. “As a small business owner, this support was invaluable.”
B-TAP received national recognition earlier this year through receipt of an International Economic Development Council (IEDC) Award. The IEDC Excellence in Economic Development Award recognizes the world’s best economic development programs and partnerships, marketing materials, and the year’s most influential leaders. These awards honor organizations and individuals for their efforts in creating positive change in urban, suburban, and rural communities. B-TAP received the IEDC Excellence in Economic Development Award for Entrepreneurship for communities with populations of 200,000-500,000.
To learn more about B-TAP or specific services offered by each provider contact the North Central Minority Supplier Development Council at 111 Third Avenue South, Suite 240, Minneapolis, MN 55401, call 612-465-8881 and visit the City of Minneapolis website.