Omaha nonprofit aims to help start, grow small businesses in disadvantaged areas

An Omaha nonprofit is helping to get small businesses in North Omaha off the ground.
Published: Apr. 5, 2023 at 7:01 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Help is on the way for people in underserved communities interested in starting or expanding a business.

Ashlei Spivey owns Best Burger. She says getting her business started was difficult.

“There aren’t intentional resources that are curated for Black-owned business owners, and so it was kind of like stumbling, trying to figure out my way to be a successful business owner,” she said.

An Omaha nonprofit is helping Omaha businesses in underserved areas in the city get off the ground.

Malinda Williams is president and CEO of Omaha 100. She wants to help cut down some of the barriers preventing minority-owned businesses.

“The minority community does have some unique challenges when it comes to accessing capitol,” Williams said. “Traditionally, we haven’t had the same technical assistance or wraparound services for our businesses. They’re usually more lifestyle or mom-and-pop businesses.”

Williams says help will come to disadvantaged communities from dollars allocated from the state’s Small Business Credit initiative.

“This $10 million, which will be matched with another 10 over the next three years, will be roughly $21 million that we’ll be able to distribute to socioeconomic-disadvantaged individuals that are trying to start businesses and scale businesses that already exist and really contribute to the economic growth of the area,” Williams said.

Spivey says the money will help, but the knowledge Omaha 100 will provide is also key to any business’s success.

“They’re wrapping it around with technical support and assistance to ensure that business owners can get the right amount to help grow or maintain their business, or making sure they just know how to operate.”

Omaha 100 will launch its business lending services in early May.