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Miami Valley Urban League awards micro-grants to help Black and brown businesses in Dayton

Miami Valley Urban League and the City of Dayton have awarded the  first round of Resiliency Fund grants.
Ngozi Cole
Miami Valley Urban League and the City of Dayton have awarded the first round of Resiliency Fund grants.

The Miami Valley Urban League has announced its first round of resiliency fund awards. The micro-grants are part of the City of Dayton's recovery plan to help black and brown businesses. Over $135,000 has been awarded to 23 small businesses in Dayton in the industries of food, healthcare, and construction.

The Miami Valley Urban League is a nonprofit organization that has been in the Dayton area since 1948. The organization's main goals are financial empowerment and economic self-sufficiency for minority communities.

Nicole Miller, the executive director, said establishing the resilience fund after the COVID-19 pandemic was important to revive black businesses in Dayton.

“We know that a barrier for minority businesses to be successful is access to capital,” Miller said.

The city says these grants will help these businesses to make capital investments and expand their operations.

“It is important for us to look at how we provide these different mini grants to those companies who are struggling, but trying to make the pathway a little brighter,” said the Mayor of Dayton, Jeff Mims.

Albert Powell , who owns a commercial cleaning company CPM Enterprises, said this money is a lifeline.

“This grant allowed us to compete with our competitors on really being able to move faster and get jobs done more efficiently,” said Powell. “And this money also helps us hire additional help because we don't have to take that money and put it in our equipment.”

Another recipient, Kourtney Terry, said that this money will expand the downtown Dayton production space for her baby food company.

“The fact that this check was presented at the time that it was only tells me that I'm on the right path because I need more, more resources and tools to help get this space moving properly,” said Terry. 

The urban league says they plan to administer more than 550 grants to Dayton businesses.

Ngozi Cole is the Business and Economics Reporter for WYSO. She graduated with honors from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism in New York and is a 2022 Pulitzer Center Post-Graduate Reporting Fellow. Ngozi is from Freetown, Sierra Leone.