Hilary Scott-Ogunrinde, of St. Louis, was one of more than 60 people attending the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s Office of Minority Economic Empowerment’s informational meeting on funding opportunities for minority-owned businesses.
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Illinois Metro East Small Business Development Center (SBDC) hosted the session on Tuesday, May 14 at the East St. Louis Higher Education Campus.
The informational meeting is one of several being held around the state following Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s May 1 announcement to provide $15 million to minority-owned businesses, located in underserved populations, with resources to help create jobs, build capacity, increase revenues and expand regionally. The announcement marks the first time the program has been funded.
A total of $10 million is designated for small minority-owned businesses, with a cap of $500,000 per applicant, and $5 million is reserved for minority-owned incubators with a cap of $250,000 per applicant, according to Derrick Champion, deputy director of the Office of Minority Economic Empowerment.
“I wanted to hear about the resources available to help us in supporting our mission of developing a senior complex,” explained Scott-Ogunrinde, about the not-for-profit Macedonia Development Corp. (MDC). She is one of 13 board members who are all members of Macedonia Baptist Church, the oldest African American church in East St. Louis.
“The complex will house different social services that will integrate the entire family,” continued Scott-Ogunrinde. “We want to support the formerly incarcerated, have STEM programs for children and much more.”
Robert B. Williams, chief accountability officer in the Office of Accountability, provided information on the application process and eligibility requirements, and answered numerous questions.
Jo Ann Di Maggio May, director of the Illinois Metro East SBDC, also spoke to the audience, offering confidential, no-cost counseling services to entrepreneurs and existing business owners.
To learn more about the application process and upcoming workshops, visit 2019 OMEE Notice of Funding Opportunity. The deadline for applications is Sunday, June 30.
Derrick Champion, deputy director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s Office of Minority Economic Empowerment, presided over an informational meeting about state funding for minority-owned businesses.
Robert B. Williams, chief accountability officer in the Office of Accountability, answered questions about the application process.