BUFFALO, N.Y. — The City of Buffalo has created a Minority-Owned Business Support Program to allocate money from President Biden’s American Rescue Plan.
Mayor Byron Brown made the program announcement Sunday morning. It's the third program funded through the Buffalo Transformation Fund.
The Beverly Gray Business Exchange Center will oversee the $3.5 million program.
"Supporting entrepreneurship in Buffalo’s Black and Brown communities is a pathway to wealth creation for the residents of these neighborhoods and setting the foundation for a new, stronger economy for the city," Mayor Brown said on Sunday.
He added: "These types of investments in minority-owned businesses are critical to Buffalo’s future prosperity and maintaining the progress we have made in strengthening our City’s fiscal situation.”
The city says the goal is to work with local companies and entrepreneurs to identify technical and financial needs, then address them using the Buffalo Transformation Fund.
The city said it would also attempt to attract start-ups and businesses from other regions to "and provide younger college graduates of color different career paths and job opportunities, which will help them stay in the region."
The city is encouraging residents to visit its website and share their thoughts by taking a survey, asking how they would like the city to use American Rescue Plan funds. Public input will be sought through July 30.
"It is also critically important that people have a voice in determining how we allocate these funds and identify what sorts of investments they think will help enhance the quality of life in their neighborhoods," the mayor said eon June 7 in a statement.