Peoria County offers minority business assistance

Jul 17, 2014

Peoria County Board Member Rachael Parker speaks during the Minority Business Enterprise Contractor Development Initiative. She is joined by representatives of the program's partner agencies on the Peoria County Building Plaza.
Credit Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

Minority business owners in Peoria County are being offered assistance in refining and growing their operations. 

The Minority Business Enterprise Contractor Development Initiative is a collaborative effort. It includes the Minority Business Development Institute and the Black Chamber of Commerce.

Peoria County Board Member and business owner Mary Ardapple says the effort will provide general and technical business development assistance, and a bond readiness program. “One thing about Peoria County is when we say we are going to put our dollars behind an initiative we mean it. And today we are very very proud to announce the launch of a minority business development program that we believe will bring in the next year, at best guess 50 new companies in our area to build minority business capacity.”

The program is offering two levels of assistance. It’s aiming to lend 30 organizations general strategic aid and help another 20 selected contractors get bonded to obtain state and federal contracts. Businesses best positioned to benefit, should be at least a year or two years old. 

The idea is to increase the number of minority owned businesses from 10 percent, closer to the 25 percent number that reflects the area’s minority population.