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Peoria County changing strategy to help minority, women-owned businesses

Peoria County is also using federal grant money to help boost small, minority and women-owned businesses in the area.  The $270,000 grant was intended to help the County purchase and renovate a small-business incubator facility in the region.  County Board member Rachel Parker says the grant and a local match of $400,000 will instead be used to invest in existing programs:

“If we would have put all of our money into the bricks and mortar, then it would be there.  This way it kind of allows us the opportunity to, for example, create the micro-loan program and to get the money more into the business owners’ hands rather than into the facility.  So just in that regard I think it would make a bigger impact on the community and help us with the business development that we’re trying to do in the minority community,” Parker says.  

The County will use the federal grant dollars to fund projects at an existing small business incubator on Peoria’s South Side.  The County is also working to create free, online courses about entrepreneurship and how to sustain a small business.