Economic Development

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YBI to Administer Minority Business Assistance Center

November 2, 2017

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — The Youngstown Business Incubator has been selected by the state to help develop and grow minority-owned and socially and economically disadvantaged businesses through the Minority Business Assistance Centers Program.

The program supports minority-owned businesses by offering no cost counseling, state certification support and training focused on creating jobs and increasing sales.

YBI takes over its operation in the region Jan. 1, said Jeffrey L. Johnson, chief of the Minority Business Development Division at the Ohio Development Services Agency.

“We’re excited to have this opportunity to leverage our expertise in working with technology-based businesses and expand our footprint to serve a larger part of the community,” said Barb Ewing, CEO of the YBI. “With our partners, the Tech Belt Energy Innovation Center in Warren, the Mahoning Valley Economic Development Corp. and the Salem Area Sustainable Opportunity Development Center, we will be able to support new minority-owned start-ups and help existing businesses grow faster.”

TBEIC will serve as a satellite center for the program in Trumbull County. Said Rick Stockburger, TBEIC chief operating officer, “There is nothing more important to innovation than diversity of thought and experience and we are excited to be a part of this important program for the region.”

Mike Conway, executive director of the MVEDC, noted the strength of the regional partners. “Our partnership reinforces the synergy of combining YBI’s technical assistance expertise with MVEDC’s experience and resources in business lending. The combination of these will prove beneficial for client businesses.”

The Minority Business Assistance Centers-Youngstown region includes Ashtabula, Trumbull, Mahoning, Columbiana, Jefferson, Belmont and Monroe counties.

YBI will work to connect with minority and disadvantaged businesses in the larger region, and has already established a partnership with the Salem Area Sustainable Opportunity Development Center.

“The SOD Center is excited to be a partner in this effort to support minority businesses in and around the Salem market, as well as Columbiana County as a whole,” said Mike Mancuso, executive director.

The Minority Business Assistance Centers program is managed by the Development Service Agency’s Minority Business Development Division.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.