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City of Buffalo Press Releases

Posted on: February 5, 2021

Mayor Brown Announces That WEDI Will Begin Distributing Buffalo Business Blitz Financial Awards

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Buffalo, NY - Mayor Byron W. Brown today announced that the Westminster Economic Development Initiative (WEDI) will begin notifying the small business owners who will receive grants of up to $2,500 as part of the Buffalo Business Blitz, a partnership between the City of Buffalo and the Starz24 Foundation. The Buffalo Business Blitz began in December when Bills Cornerback Josh Norman and his Starz24 Foundation provided $25,000 to create the fund, which collected more than $500,000 in donations to assist small businesses.

Mayor Brown stated, “My Administration will continue to do all we can to support Buffalo’s small businesses suffering economic hardship as a result of this pandemic. I’m proud of our community for its continued generosity and strong support of the Buffalo Business Blitz. I thank Josh Norman for his dedication to the success of this initiative and I want to congratulate those small business owners who applied and will now receive grants to assist them. My administration has worked tirelessly throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to make sure our small businesses have all the resources they need to operate safely and according to New York State’s guidelines. These funds will ensure that more businesses will have the resources they need during these difficult times."

“The Buffalo Business Blitz shows what a community can do when everyone comes together for the greater good. Western New York raised over $500,000 and are going to help around 200 small businesses, and that’s a big deal for our economy." said Josh Norman. "Bills fans are the most generous in the nation. I hope Bills Mafa continues to donate their money to the causes of their choosing because it’s going to take all of us to make a stronger impact together as one buffalo."

Around 200 grant awards, which include awards to over 100 small business owners located in the City of Buffalo, will be distributed. Of the businesses awarded, 52% women-owned and 43%   are owned by people of color. The Starz24 Foundation selected Westminster Economic Development Initiative to administer grants of up to $2,500 to each qualifying business. WEDI handled all of the logistics associated with the application process, including application evaluation and administration of the funds. Recipients of this grant

“WEDI is the ideal organization to partner with the BBB because we are embedded in Buffalo’s small business community," said Carolynn Welch, Executive Director of WEDI. "We've been called on repeatedly to support Buffalo/WNY’s small business owners/entrepreneurs through this crisis. Partnering with Josh Norman on the BBB perfectly aligns with our mission to achieve economic equity in Buffalo."

The Buffalo Business Blitz is yet another initiative that continues the Brown Administration’s commitment to fnding innovative and collaborative ways to help residents and businesses during these trying time. The Buffalo Business Blitz was a natural initiative that came out of his Administration, in partnership with Starz24, because of a shared understanding of the needs of, and connection to, small business owners. For more information about the program, visit starz24.org.

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