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KeyBank Foundation commits $1 million to PathStone to grow buffalo's minority-owned businesses by 5% in 5 years

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Thu, Apr 13th 2017 11:15 am

PathStone Enterprise Center's Buffalo Minority Business Assistance Project on Jefferson Avenue to administer funding

The KeyBank Foundation recently committed $1 million to the PathStone Enterprise Center to enable business development and expand technical assistance services to entrepreneurs through the nonprofit's Buffalo Minority Business Assistance Project, which is committed to supporting and increasing the number of minority-owned businesses in the city by 5 percent over the next five years.

"With KeyBank's support, we will be able to work more effectively towards the creation of an entrepreneurial ecosystem in Buffalo, which will help create additional small business lending opportunities and significantly increase the number of minority owned businesses," said PathStone Enterprise Center President Hubert Van Tol. "This grant will also allow us to provide additional training to existing minority business owners, which, combined with our available loans funds, will ensure they have the right tools in place to support the long-term success of their businesses."

PathStone is a private, nonprofit regional community development and human service organization headquartered in Rochester. PathStone Enterprise Center's Buffalo Minority Assistance Project was established last year in the City of Buffalo's new Beverly Gray Business Exchange Center on Jefferson Avenue.

The project will use KeyBank's $1 million grant to enable business development and expand technical assistance services to entrepreneurs. This support, coupled with the PathStone's capital, aims to help the nonprofit achieve its goal of increasing the number of minority-owned businesses with employees in Buffalo by 10 percent in the next five years, while at the same time increasing the total number of minority-owned businesses in the city by 5 percent during that timeframe.

"KeyBank is focusing its community investments in Western New York on those organizations and projects that will help create a stronger and brighter future here, through transformational investments in jobs, neighborhoods and education," said Buford Sears, Buffalo Region president, KeyBank. "We are hard-pressed to think of a better way to invest in Buffalo's future than by supporting the ideas and work of entrepreneurs and the small business owners with our long-standing partners at PathStone. They will help create additional job opportunities, while helping to make Buffalo a place that people can live, work and play."

The $1 million commitment to PathStone Enterprise Center's Buffalo Minority Assistance Project is part of KeyBank's community benefits plan for investing $16.5 billion in its communities from Maine to Alaska over a five-year period, beginning Jan. 1, 2017. Up to $5.8 billion, or 35 percent of the total, will be invested in the combined First Niagara-KeyBank footprint, including Western New York.

Small businesses can find more information and applications by searching for "PathStone Enterprise Center Inc." on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pathstoneenterprise/ or calling 716-436-2560 to reach one of PECI's business development officers.

During its nearly 40 years of operation, PathStone has grown to provide services to low-income families, farmworkers and economically depressed communities throughout New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio, Indiana, Vermont, Virginia and Puerto Rico. For more information about PathStone, visit www.pathstone.org.

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