Updated: September 14, 2020 05:11 PM
Created: September 14, 2020 02:25 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- The City of Albuquerque is launching a new initiative to help minority-owned businesses succeed.
A poll by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce found 66% of minority-owned small businesses are concerned about having to permanently close their businesses because of the pandemic.
"We've really got to lift up minority-owned and women-owned businesses, and historically there's been a fair amount of neglect in that area, so we've been really trying to right that ship," said Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller.
Keller announced the city will form a Minority Business Development Center, which will be housed at the Hispano Chamber of Commerce offices.
"We also know there are vast disparities in access to resources for minority-owned businesses and that's really what this development center is set up to focus on," the mayor said.
The center will help minority business owners access capital, secure contracts and conduct training.
It's modeled after the success of local minority business owner Bill Miera, who grew his engineering firm, Fiore Industries, into a $20 million dollar enterprise.
'Especially where I grew up, I saw so much wasted potential for people who had no opportunities," Miera said.
The center will focus on various sectors including aerospace, bio-sciences and film and television.
It is scheduled to open Dec. 1.
"I literally cannot say how critical this is for a community that needs it," Miera said.
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