Nine minority- and women-owned businesses receive almost $19,500 in grant awards | Local

Nine owners of minority- and women-owned businesses received grant awards totaling almost $19,500 from the Sharp End Entrepreneurial Development (SEED) Fund at an awards ceremony Tuesday afternoon.

James Whitt, the director of Columbia’s Supplier Diversity Program and manager of the fund, gave out the awards at the event. The event was only available to the public via Facebook Live, and the broadcast is now on the Supplier Diversity Program’s Facebook page.

The fund, which is managed by the SEED Committee, was named in honor of the Sharp End, a historic Black business district in downtown Columbia. The district was destroyed by urban renewal in the 1960s.

Whitt said the SEED Committee aims to support minority- and women-owned businesses in Columbia by raising funds, building long-term relationships and creating opportunities for mentorship.

Out of 39 applicants for the awards, nine were  selected after an evaluation…

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