Cook County to Help Minority Business Owners

County Board President Toni Preckwinkle announces initiative to help minority business owners get loans

Minority business owners, including women, are going to start finding it easier to get a loan.

Cook County will be giving about a quarter of the county's $800 million in planned capital projects to minority-owned and women-owned businesses in the next three to five years, County Board President Toni Preckwinkle announced Wednesday.

"This initiative will eliminate many of the barriers that prevented small businesses in Cook County from having a seat at the table, and that means more opportunity, more jobs, and a stronger local economy," Preckwinkle explained.

In order to facilitate this initiative, Cook County has the help of nine banks, including Citibank and Chase, who have pledged to work with small businesses.

The senior vice president and director of community development at Citigroup, Helen Hammond Redding, thought the initiative makes a lot of economical sense.

"Small businesses are the engines that drive growth and create jobs," Redding told the Sun Times.

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