A local commission is taking part in a key initiative in Erie County’s inclusive growth by launching a small business fund to invest in Erie companies. ­­

Briaunna Malone was live from Beez Appliances on Parade Street to tell us more about the fund and what it would mean for local businesses.

Diverse Erie is making an initiative to expand the growth of businesses in the BIPOC community in Erie with a new fund that was launched Tuesday morning.

The Small Business Fund by the Diverse Erie Commission has launched with the goal in mind to make a difference for businesses in the BIPOC community, also known as Black Indigenous People of Color.

The commission is looking to create a fund of $2 million that will be used as a revolving loan fund.

With the recent launch, the commission has yet to receive applicants from businesses but a plan of action has been set in place on how the loan will make an impact.

“We believe it’s going to change the blueprint for small businesses in Erie County. This is the first time where we’ve come together, so many entities, and invested such a large amount of money for this particular initiative. So we believe that this will allow us to meet the needs and demands of small businesses as they continue to grow,” said Gary Lee, chief administrative officer, Diverse Erie Commission.

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Lee told us in order to qualify for this loan, businesses have to be interested in expanding while also meeting other criteria from the federal government.