Advocates seek minority voices, opportunity with 12 ‘transformational’ projects – MiBiz: West Michigan Business News – DC Initiative on Racial Equity
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Regional business and economic development leaders recently announced a list of 12 “transformational” projects that could reshape Kent County’s ability to attract visitors, new residents and employers.

However, minority business advocates hope the projects — which also could seek public funding through a windfall of federal pandemic relief and infrastructure dollars — represent the entirety of the community and business sector rather than a familiar cast of developers and local leaders.

In particular, leaders of the West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (WMHCC) and Grand Rapids Area Black Businesses want to see minority contractors engaged in any future development process that unfolds.

“My hope and what we are working on at the WMHCC is to prepare and incorporate minority owned businesses to participate in all those projects,” WMHCC President and CEO Guillermo Cisneros said in an email, adding that the projects are “incredible” and will “no doubt … bring economic vitality to our region.”

“Through construction work, cleaning services and many other services, we can incorporate many small businesses of color in this development,” he added. “This will bring financial benefits not


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