INDIANAPOLIS — Earlier this year, a disparity study commissioned by the city of Indianapolis showed that minority- and women-owned businesses face challenges in getting city contracts, due to a lack of mentorship and access to funds.
To help remedy this, Mayor Joe Hogsett and the Indy Chamber announced Thursday the first development program, called Growing with Accelerated Payment, to help those businesses bid on city contracts.
“We must break down barriers to capital,” Hogsett said. “We must break down barriers to mentorship. And we must engage with minority- and women-owned businesses like never before.”
The GAP program helps provide low- or no-interest loans, business coaches and more for businesses.
Hogsett said the city is nearly 52% female and nearly 45% racial and ethnic minority.
“Until ratios of business participation reflect the above percentages, we must work to be more inclusive,” Hogsett said.
Minority and female business owners will also be able to participate in development classes offered by Indy Chamber’s Business Ownership Initiative.