District Announces New Grant for Minority-Owned Businesses | Central Missouri News

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COLUMBIA — The Downtown Community Improvement District (CID) has released the Minority-Owned Business Grant, which aims to help close the gap in the mix of business owners in downtown Columbia.

District staff worked with the Missouri Women’s Business Center (MoWBC) to create the program, but encourages minority business owners of all gender identities to apply for the grant. Grants of up to $5,000 will be awarded.

“There’s a huge disparity in the makeup of our business owners. Less than 5% of our businesses are black-owned,” said Nickie Davis, executive director of The District. “This is a direct result of black-owned businesses being driven out of the Sharp End area during the urban renewal of the 1960s.”

Applicants must start or relocate a business in downtown Columbia within 6 months of October 1, 2021. Businesses must be 51% or more owned by a Columbia resident who is African American, non-white Hispanic, Native American, Asian-Pacific or Asian-Indian.

Additionally, applicants must submit a business plan with financial projections for at least one year, including what they plan to do with the grant funds.

“It’s a drop in the bucket of work that needs to be done, but we look forward to continuing to take and create the stepping stones to a brighter, more diverse and inclusive district,” Davis said.

Business owners can request more information about the grant at the District’s website.

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