Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Pittsburgh Economic Development Group Receives $300,000 Commerce Department Grant to Help Businesses Started by Minorities, Immigrants & Veterans

The U.S. Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) today announced a $300,000 grant to Christian Evangelistic Economic Development (CEED) of Pittsburgh to provide technical assistance to economically distressed microenterprises in the Pittsburgh region. Additional matching funds from the Heinz Endowments brings the total grant package to $600,000.

Rufus Idris
The EDA investment will support local efforts to address the challenges faced by start-up and existing underserved and disadvantaged entrepreneurs, by providing pragmatic technical assistance to immigrant-owned, refugee-owned, minority-owned and veteran-owned microenterprises in the Pittsburgh region. Assistance may include business review and planning, training and counseling, market analysis, current business technology, and on-going mentoring, case management and capacity building.

This project, an example of the important partnership between the federal government and faith-based organizations, is expected to facilitate the creation of new jobs and generate private investment in microenterprises that are a key building block in the repositioning of challenged areas, according to Rufus Idris, Executive Director of the Christian Evangelistic Economic Development.

"Providing technical assistance to enthusiastic entrepreneurs ready to achieve the American Dream and strengthen local economies is a key component of Christian Evangelistic Economic Development efforts," Idris said. "Already, efforts have seen the creation of a number of successful neighborhood businesses and its expansion will provide opportunity to 75 new microbusinesses."

A press conference was held on Monday, April 25 at the Allegheny County Courthouse Courtyard, 436 Grant St. Pittsburgh, PA 15219, to explain details of how local groups and individuals can benefit from this initiative.

For more information about small business assistance and micro-loans, contact CEED at 412-450-8070 or by sending email to info@usaceed.org. The CEED website can be found at www.usaceed.org.

Commerce Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships works to engage community groups in the national economic development process by promoting awareness of funding opportunities in order to ensure faith-based community groups, such as Christian Evangelistic Economic Development can play a role in helping to increase competitiveness.

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