Minority business owners in Phoenix receive almost $300K in federal funding

PROVIDED BY IRC/ETHAN FICHTNER

Huda runs her shop Riham Fashion with her husband, Ahmed, in the West Valley.

Minority-owned businesses in the Valley will be getting some major help from the federal government over the next five years.

The U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency announced the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce as a grant recipient to operate a MBDA Business Center in Phoenix.

The business center will receive $291,900 in federal funding over the next five years, which began April 1 to help minority-owned businesses create jobs, develop their business, and compete in the global economy.

That could be for business owners such as Jorge Torres of Palabra Hair Collective, who recently expanded his art gallery/hair salon in downtown Phoenix, or Huda and her husband Ahmed, from Iraq, who run their boutique Riham Fashion through a program started by the International Rescue Committee of Phoenix.

According to a recent study by WalletHub, Hispanic purchasing power in Gilbert is the third-strongest in the nation, while Gilbert and Scottsdale hold first and third, respectively, for highest median annual income for Hispanics.

There are 135,313 minority-owned firms, that contribute more than $17.9 million annually in economic output in Arizona. These firms employ more than 114,000 local residents.

Twenty-one cities, including Phoenix, are receiving the grant.

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