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  • Writer's pictureMcKenzie Harris

Why is Supporting Minority Business Ownership Important?

Small businesses' strong presence fuels communities and their economies toward growth. Often forgotten in comparison to a towns' large corporate counterparts, small businesses are the true force behind a community's character. Small businesses help attract tourists to the town's center while also serving the needs of their year-round residents.


Small businesses ARE the community, so why are community populations not represented in their small business ownership?


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, less than 20% of U.S. businesses are minority owned1. Minority entrepreneurs, people who identify as a person of color, female, veteran, and/or LGBTQ+, often face more socio-economic and intrinsic barriers when starting their businesses and during times of economic challenges. For example, the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise 2020 Report reveals Black entrepreneurs are three times less likely to apply for credit due to loan denial fears--shedding light on the significant gaps between minority groups and white male business owners.

Local resources and business tools have the power to diminish this gap. Entrepreneurs can gain certifications, like through the Minority Business Enterprise Program (MBE) or the Women Business Enterprise Program (WBE), to become state certified. These programs aid business development by helping assist entrepreneurs to obtain their needed state governmental contracts.


Minority entrepreneurs interested in or needing help in establishing their business should also consider contacting local resources such as the Minority Business Empowerment Team (MBET) or the Regional Incubator for Sustainability and Entrepreneurship (RISE) for useful advising. Some of the free services RISE provides to Erie and Huron county residents are 1-on-1 business advising, assistance in accessing professional services, and informational workshops.


MBET, a local grassroots collaborative, provides minority entrepreneurial support through building community, increasing visibility, and delivering business assistance. MBET does so through its networking events, social media, and advising. MBET even offers startup scholarships to help cover initial start-up expenses for minority-owned businesses.

MBET’s initiatives are entirely FREE. Interested minority entrepreneurs can call 419-627-7791 or email rise@eriecountyedc.org to get started! You can also stay connected with MBET and their future events by connecting on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MBETSandusky/

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