FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) — In honor of Black History Month, city and community leaders are taking action to invest in minority-owned businesses.
Vision View Business Formation Center in Fresno’s Airport District hit a new milestone, receiving more than a million dollars in funding to build generational wealth for communities of color.
The Center’s Founder and CEO, Lynisha Senegal, walked through the area slated to be remodeled.
She said, “We provide the services that minority businesses might not otherwise have the opportunity to access.”
Last week, city and community leaders held a press conference announcing more than a million dollars in funding to strengthen the business center.
The California Endowment provided $800,000 toward the Capital Project and Central Valley Community Foundation provided $200,000 in ‘gap-funding’ to stabilize the capital project and additional funding through the D.R.I.V.E. Initiative.
City of Fresno Council President Tyler Maxwell provide $500,000 from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding after the devastation of the COVID Pandemic to small minority-owned businesses.
“You got thousands of people coming in and out of the Fresno Yosemite International Airport every single day, that is the economic hub of our city. Those were the people that were truly impacted during COVID-19 and the businesses and folks we got to invest back into,” said Maxwell.
“Without this investment, without this remodel, we are only limited to how far with can go,” Senegal said.
This hub is home to more than 29 minority-owned businesses: Blackish Coffee and Kitchen, Blakeney Children’s Foundation, Engage Health, Pleasant Living, D.O.P.E., Golden King Apparel, Central Valley Urban Institute, Jazz Cafe Catering and Event Center, Sage Credit & Business Services & Dunkin Security, DMP Productions, First Financial Security, and more.
The plan is to have an international food court with a rooftop dining area where business owners can meet and network.
Senegal said the dollars in the airport district are not only for the remodeling, but reinvesting in these businesses to help them scale up.
“That money goes out of the community, it goes to river park, it goes to tower district, it goes to downtown when we have the number of businesses that can actually meet the needs of these new industries that’ll be created from the airport expansion,” she said.
The first disbursement of dollars have been allocated, so the Black-owned contractor, Global Economic Impact Construction a subsidiary of Global Economic Impact Group, already began their foundational work.
If you’re interested in learning more about Vision View or the Airport District, there will be a community meeting on Tuesday, February 7th, from 11am to 1pm at Vision View, located at 4974 E Clinton Ave.