116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
NewBo City Market awarded $360,000 grant for equity initiatives
Funds will allow the market to hire director of equitable business development
CEDAR RAPIDS — The NewBo City Market in Cedar Rapids will hire a director of equitable business development to expand its outreach and support for underrepresented entrepreneurs, with help from a $360,000 grant.
The new position was created after the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation awarded the grant to help improve inclusive economic development for entrepreneurs at the market.
The market has operated as a business incubator since its opening in 2012.
Julie Parisi, market’s executive director, said the market needed to expand its internal staff to meet the needs of the new businesses that are joining.
Seventy percent of businesses in the market are women-owned, about 25 percent are owned by people of color and 20 percent of businesses are immigrant-owned, Parisi said.
“We're really serving to sort of uplift these historically underrepresented populations by giving them some additional support as they get started in their first year of business,” she said.
The new position will oversee the market’s existing diversity, equity and inclusion programs for business owners that include the Hatchery program, Guest Vendor Market, Entrepreneur Equity Fund and Child Stipend Program.
The Hatchery program, which started in 2021, provides one-on-one mentoring for participating business owners and a rent discount for a spot in the market.
NewBo is in the process to hire someone who is able to understand underrepresented business owners who may need additional support services, Parisi said.
“This new role is certainly to support the entire organization and specifically the shopkeepers,” she said.
“Just knowing that they've got another person who is skilled, who has experience, either running a business, or can who can help them work through some of their challenges is going to be huge for them.”
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