Center opening on Peoria’s South Side to help build minority businesses

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PEORIA (HOI) — A five year long project is opening on the South Side of Peoria, focused on minority businesses and growth. The woman behind the center, said she once found herself in need of these same resources.

“I thought if I’m having this difficulty and I have business degree, I wonder what other people who don’t have degrees in whatever I wonder what kind of problem they’re having,” said Denise Moore, CEO and founder of the Minority Business Development Center.

Moore said she found herself without resources and guidance on how to open her own retail store 25 years ago. An issue she said most people still have today.

“I decided I can do this on my own, and I can bring other people along so they can do it on their own,” said Moore.

A five year project came to life Thursday evening, the opening of the Minority Business Development Center.

Moore said the goal was educate people on how to go about starting and growing their business.

“Anyone who’s trying to start or grow their business can come here and get information and training for free,” said Moore.

Moore said they also offer IT training, book keeping and office space for rent. Right now, 5 entrepreneurs are already using the space.

“It’s a three fold, improve their credit score, help their business and then allow them to be a homeowner,” said Dorfredia McCain, Credit Counselor at Justine Petersen.

McCain said her goal was to help people and businesses succeed working for Justine Petersen as a credit counselor.

She said this space, was a win for everyone.

“It also gives us chance to meet different people in the community as well as the business industry,” said McCain.

Throughout August, Moore said they would be celebrating Black Business Month.

“There is no other facility like this in central Illinois,” said Moore.

Moore said she’s now ready to see her vision come to life throughout the South Side of Peoria and rest of the city.

“More black businesses, women owned businesses, veteran businesses, Hispanic businesses, Asian businesses,” said Moore.

The center is funded by private donors, but they also received help recently from state government.