Grant awarded to Excelsior Growth Fund and Westminster Economic Development Initiative

The KeyBank Business Boost & Build Program, powered by JumpStart, is celebrating the start of National Small Business Week by awarding $100,000 to Excelsior Growth Fund and the Buffalo-based Westminster Economic Development Initiative.


EGF promotes economic development and job creation by providing streamlined access to small business loans and business advisory services. WEDI works to empower Buffalo’s economically disadvantaged through economic development, community development and education.


"We are excited about our collaboration with Excelsior Growth Fund and JumpStart through KeyBank Business Boost & Build's financial support,” said Ben Bissel, Executive Director of WEDI. “Through this assistance, our organizations will be able to provide a full continuum of service, starting with training and capitalizing minority- and women-led microenterprises with microloans. Then Excelsior Growth Fund will help them and other businesses to scale up to be viable, sustaining and successful companies through small business loans and advisory services. The funding will lead the organizations to serve hundreds of additional entrepreneurs, who will start and expand companies that create local jobs. Buffalo's business ecosystem continues to grow through this investment in its future."


With this new funding, the two collaborators will deepen their existing partnership and together will offer a full range of loan options, from $500 to $500,000, to minority and women owned business enterprises (MWBEs) in the City of Buffalo.


Startup assistance and smaller loans will be handled by WEDI. EGF will focus on larger loans and associated advisory services. Both partners will also hold a series of collaborative educational workshops for minority and women owned businesses and entrepreneurs.


“Supporting small businesses and helping them thrive is central to KeyBank’s mission,” added Buford Sears, KeyBank Western New York Market President. “We are proud to be assisting two great organizations, WEDI and EGF, as they expand their efforts to help more women and minority business owners capitalize on the economic renaissance that is underway in Buffalo.”


Funded by a grant from the KeyBank Foundation in 2017, the KeyBank Business Boost & Build program is designed to stimulate economic growth in Ohio and Upstate New York by helping startups and small businesses grow and prepare the workforce for the needs of those companies.


Small businesses and entrepreneurs interested in learning more about the KeyBank Business Boost & Build program can visit

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