Congresswoman Norma Torres is spearheading legislation to support entrepreneurs at HBCUs and other minority-serving institutions

WashingtonBefore Small Business Saturday, Congresswoman Norma J. Torres (CA-35) co-led the introduction of the Minority Entrepreneurship Grant Program Act, bipartisan legislation that created a grant program with the Small Business Administration for entrepreneurs at minority-serving institutions such as historically black colleges and universities. Representatives Nikema Williams (GA-05), Dwight Evans (PA-03), and Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01) are joint leaders in the introduction of The Minority Entrepreneurship Grant Program Act.

Congresswoman Norma Torres (CA-35) said:

“Small businesses are vital to California’s economy and drive the economic success of regions like the Inland Empire. However, access to capital is one of the biggest barriers to entrepreneurship for too many people. Our bipartisan bill, the Minority Entrepreneurship Grant Program Act, will empower diverse communities by creating new startup funding for minority entrepreneurs and support America’s economy by driving innovation.”

Congresswoman Nikema Williams (GA-05) said:

“Too often, black and brown entrepreneurs face enormous barriers to accessing the capital needed to start and sustain a business. The Minority Entrepreneurship Grants Program will help remove these barriers and ensure that the next generation of minority business owners have a fair shot at the promise of America. Investing in minority-owned businesses is also one way to close the racial wealth gap. I’m proud to be advancing legislation to continue to build capital in entrepreneurial opportunities for everyone — no matter your zip code, no matter your bank account.”

Congresswoman Alma Adams (NC-12) said:

“Small businesses are the job-creating engines of our economy. The bipartisan Minority Entrepreneurship Grant Act will ensure that small businesses have the resources they need to not just survive, but thrive. This legislation will ease the burden faced by small and disadvantaged businesses by providing much-needed grant funding.”

Congressman Dwight Evans (PA-03) said:

“Minority businesses are a vital part of the economic fabric of Philadelphia and the nation. That is why I am proud to co-sponsor the Minority Entrepreneurship Grants Act and am confident in this legislation’s ability to benefit students at Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). I remain committed to promoting economic justice and raising the next generation of minority entrepreneurs in America.”

Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01) said:

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and enable communities to thrive. The bipartisan Minority Entrepreneurship Grants Program Act will empower minority innovators and entrepreneurs to start their own small businesses, and I am proud to join my colleagues on this legislation.”

Nancy Flake Johnson, president and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Atlanta said:

“We enthusiastically support the innovative measure introduced today by Congresswoman Nickema Williams to increase entrepreneurship in communities of color. By encouraging small business development at colleges and universities that historically serve people of color, the Minority Entrepreneurship Grants Program Act will help ensure a pool of successful minority entrepreneurs. Statistics show that minority entrepreneurs struggle disproportionately to obtain adequate financing to stay in business. Bloomberg reports, for example, that eight out of 10 black-owned businesses fail within the first 18 months. We applaud Congresswoman Williams and her colleagues for taking action to address a problem of this magnitude and to improve the sustainability and success rates for small businesses owned by Black, Brown, Asian, and Indigenous entrepreneurs.”

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