Cedar Rapids Named Top 3 City In Nation For Minority-Owned Businesses

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Diversity Focus and the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance are proud to share an analysis from NerdWallet that placed Cedar Rapids as one of the best cities in the country for minorities to start their own businesses.

“The community has worked hard over the past decade to make the Cedar Rapids area a place where anyone can have a vision and see it through to reality,” said Chad Simmons, CEO & President, Diversity Focus.

The analysis by NerdWallet placed Cedar Rapids at #3 in the United States based on a variety of factors, not only the concentration of minority businesses, but also the health of the local economy, the business climate, and access to small business loans.

“The key to our community’s growth is the widespread understanding of inclusiveness to make those new to our area feel welcome and make sure they know they belong here,” said Dee Baird, President & CEO, Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance. “We’ve worked hard to advance our business recruitment strategy, and that includes attracting and retaining diverse businesses and workforce.”

The population of the Cedar Rapids metro area is now 91.2% white, but the number of Small Business Administration loans to minority businesses grew 111% from 2007 to 2012, the NerdWallet analysis shows.

“Access to capital is key for any business hoping to start or grow its operations. We have seen exciting momentum gathering behind organizations like Community Financial Access and others who are helping minority business owners finance their dreams,” said Simmons. “The effort to make this a better place for all people to build a life are working. This analysis paints a bright vision for the future of our region.”

For media inquiries, please contact Chad Simmons at csimmons@diversityfocus.org or the number above. To read more about the NerdWallet analysis, visit https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/small-business/best-places-for-minority-owned-businesses/.


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