The City of Minneapolis recently passed new funding to support its Business Technical Assistance Program (B-TAP) providers. B-TAP now has over a million dollars in funding, including $500,000 approved on Friday, Dec. 12 by the Minneapolis City Council. B-TAP provides services to support new and growing Minneapolis businesses.
“This program is important because a healthy economy needs to pay attention to small business development because they are job creators. B-TAP provides tools for communities that are usually excluded from accessing these resources and provides an opportunity to create a better quality of life by starting their own business,” said Daniel Bonilla, Senior Project Coordinator in the Business Development Division of the Community Planning and Economic Development Department of the City of Minneapolis.
According to a City of Minneapolis press release, B-TAP providers work primarily with women and minority-owned businesses.
“For Minneapolis to continue growing, it is important that we pay attention to how we are pursuing that growth. Supporting micro-entrepreneurs, especially in communities of color, is key to achieving sustainable, inclusive economic growth,” said Mayor Betsy Hodges in the press release.
Participating nonprofits include the African Development Center, Asian Economic Development Center, the Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers, and the Association of Women Contractors, as well as 12 other nonprofits.
B-TAP providers are meant to support the development of new and expanding businesses, give advice as needed, and support businesses looking to “pursue certification as a Minority- or Women- Owned Disadvantaged Business,” according to the B-TAP website. They also provide language support for business owners that have limited English-speaking skills, loans and access to capital, trainings and workshops to new business owners and entrepreneurs. They also provide technical assistance, amongst other services. The City of Minneapolis contracts with these local nonprofits for two-year terms.
According to the City of Minneapolis website, businesses served are found in North Minneapolis, in the Seward and Phillips neighborhoods, and in a variety of low-income and ethnic communities.
The B-TAP program was a recipient of an International Economic Development Council award which recognizes the best economic development partners and programs in the world, according to a City of Minneapolis press release.