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Minority Financial Summit

Economic inequality is a pervasive issue in the United States. Small businesses do not receive the same tax breaks and government bailouts that massive corporations do, but inequality isn’t predicated solely on business size. Statistics show that Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) are at a distinct disadvantage when compared to their white-owned counterparts.

Noticing that many of her clients were struggling to obtain financing, particularly amid the COVID-19 pandemic, SBDC Spartanburg Area Manager and Business Consultant Katrina Meeks responded by partnering with several SC agencies to develop and execute the Minority Financial Summit—an online webinar designed to unlock the potential of MBEs by describing funding options, fostering lender relationships and explaining the basics of business financing.

Meeks, along with representatives from the Commission for Minority Affairs, Department of Commerce, City of Spartanburg and One Spartanburg Inc., developed a robust curriculum that addressed the disparities minorities often experience when trying to secure funding and provided suggestions on fortifying their financial profile. Speakers from the various agencies and the SBA offered a dynamic variety of perspectives which was well-received by attendees.

The event was promoted via social media by the SBDC and other summit sponsors. Over 300 people from throughout the state expressed an interest in the webinar, with 127 people attending. Encouraged by the success of this year’s summit, Meeks hopes to host the event again in 2022.

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