Help for minority business owners

FRESNO, California

A federal grant worth $1.5 million over five years hopes to help create jobs in the Valley.

A great deal of local interest greeted the grand opening of the new office in Northeast Fresno. The MBDA focuses on three areas.

National Director David Hinson said they are, "Access to contracts, access to capital which is critical for small businesses and then access to new export markets."

Ed Liu of Fresno was able to grow his business through the MBDA office which is operated by Asian, Inc. Liu needed help landing contracts as well as a bank loan for this property.

Asian, Inc. President Michael Chan said, "With Ed Liu, Amgro fertilizer, we were able to help him complete his purchase of a warehouse. It really meets that niche within the minority farming community in providing seed, fertilizer so forth."

The Minority Business Development Agency signed a memorandum of understanding with the High Speed Rail Authority. The project must use mall businesses for 30% of the work.

Fresno County Supervisor Henry Perea said, "There's no reason why with the help of these people, which is why their timing is so perfect, to get that piece of the pie for minority owned businesses."

David Hinson added, "We're talking about construction businesses, we're talking about bus in the service sector, we're talking design businesses."

The Valley's rich diversity was one reason why Fresno was selected to open the MBDA's 40th office in the country. The agency is especially interested in reaching out to Native-American owned businesses.

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