Jul 14

Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) announced today that it was awarded a five-year, $1.9 million federal grant to create the Minority Business Development Assistance Center – Ohio (MBDA Center) in Cleveland.

The grant is focused on supporting Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) with revenues greater than $500,000. The MBDA Center will connect the work of minority business-related programs state-wide and develop a mutually supportive infrastructure with the capacity and resources necessary for accelerating MBE growth.

The MBDA Center will leverage and build on collaborative efforts led by GCP including:

  • CommitCLE – a program in which 16 corporations have committed to significantly increase spending on supplier diversity
  • Inclusion Marketplace -- a virtual portal that connects MBEs with companies looking to buy their goods and services
  • Business Growth Compass – a web-based assessment tool to connect MBEs with appropriate resources, such as financial assistance, grant opportunities, marketing and strategic planning

“Historically, we have been a leader in designing and deploying programs to support and close the opportunity gaps for MBEs,” said Brian Hall, Senior Vice President and Executive Director of Equity & Inclusion at GCP. “This grant provides an outstanding opportunity to collaborate with partners and build capacity to help scale MBEs.”

The center will hire business advisors who will work with selected MBEs around the state, connecting them to such programs and other resources to support their growth.

“This initiative is essential to advancing both growth and prosperity,” GCP President & CEO Baiju R. Shah said. “Ensuring our region is one of inclusive opportunity for both businesses and individuals is fundamental to accelerating our region’s economy.”