Feds give $50,000 to help minority-owned startups in Chattanooga

Employees for the Small Business Administration Disaster Reserve, sits at their desks Saturday at the FEMA recovery center located at Fire Dept. Station 7 on Discovery Dr. in Chattanooga. According to a FEMA employee at the site, only two people had been in to register by 2 p.m. on Satuday. Susan Solomon, a FEMA public information officer, said there are 9 FEMA recovery centers open in the Chattanooga area.

The Chattanooga-based nonprofit Launch will receive a $50,000 federal grant to help fund its efforts to develop and encourage more minority and women entrepreneurs in Chattanooga.

The U.S. Small Business Administration announced today that Launch was picked as one of 67 recipients of SBA funding through the Growth Accelerator Fund Competition.

More than 400 applications were judged by more than 100 experts with entrepreneurial, investment, startup, economic development, capital formation and academic backgrounds to select the award winners.

Since 2011, Launch has trained nearly 250 entrepreneurs. In that time, there have been 134 businesses started and 166 jobs created. Thus far, 91 percent of businesses started with the support of Launch are still in operation. Launch provides training, coaching, access to business and capital resources and is focused on women-owned and minority-owned micro businesses and residents of disadvantaged communities.