The Youngstown Business Incubator's (YBI) Minority Business Assistance Center (MBAC) and Valley Economic Development Partners have announced on Thursday that they have been selected to receive tier 1 and tier 2 awards for the Youngstown/Warren region starting July 1.

The YBI has hosted the MBAC as a tier 1 provider since 2017.

In the current two-year grant period the MBAC Youngstown/Warren region has provided 625 counseling hours and seeing 231 new clients. These clients have secured 34 new certifications and $1.05 million in capital.

In receiving the tier 2 award, the MBAC will focus on certification, funding and contracts for their clients, serving the needs of small, minority and socially and economically disadvantaged businesses throughout the Youngstown/Warren area.

"We are thrilled to continue working with the Ohio Department of Development Minority Business Development Division as tier 2 with the YBI as our host. What's more exciting is the opportunity to expand our relationship with Valley Partners as they have been awarded Tier 1 MBAC where they focus on the start-ups of businesses in the minority community," said Youngstown MBAC Director, Stephanie Gilchrist.

In collaboration with the MBAC, Valley Partners will now provide technical assistance resources and guidance to minority start-ups and entrepreneurs by assisting them in navigating changes they may face.

This collaboration will allow for each party to play a role in creating generational wealth through entrepreneurship for families in the community. 

The goal is to see minority-owned, women-owned and veteran-friendly business enterprises grow and scale to create economic empowerment throughout the region.