Sojourner’s Truth Staff
The new Ohio Minority Business Assistance Center of Northwest Ohio, hosted by The Institute for Social Justice at Union Institute and Mays & Associates, Ltd, in conjunction with the Ohio Department of Development hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday December 10 at the Lucas County Shared Services Building.
“This is a new beginning,” said Stayce Fowler, regional director of Ohio MBAC-NOW-Toledo. “We have established satellite offices, we already have 60 clients and have 350 support hours so far. We are doing a great job.”
Ohio MBAC NOW-Toledo is being funded by a new grant from the Ohio Department of Development, well over $1 million spread over the next two years and more than twice the amount of the previous grant. It’s the largest grant given to the seven regional offices.
“Northwest Ohio can be a hub for the state,” said Shanda Gore, president/CEO of Mays & Associates and managing principal of Ohio MBAC NOW-Toledo. “This is the first time that a brand-new office has been built specifically for our northwest Ohio program. Mays & Associates partners with organizations to obtain their highest customer-centered performance and an enhanced global perspective through deeper understanding of Diversity& Inclusion and the NOW-Toledo program is the economic-focused area for us.”
Also present for the ceremony was Stacy Cornett, division manager of the Ohio Department of Development Minority Business Development.
“We are excited about the opening of the new MBAC office whose mission is to empower the community to succeed,” said Cornett during her remarks. She noted that her office has “trained business professional that can provide support in all areas” of business expertise.
The Shared Services Building is a recently opened facility designed to house the multitude of offices and services Lucas County manages and provides.
“You round us out and make sure there is business assistance,” said County Commissioner Tina Skeldon Wozniak. “We want the business community to know that there is a one-stop center.”
“This is good for our community and good for everyone,” added Commissioner Gary Byers. “Your success is our community’s success.”
Along with Mays & Associates, Ltd; The Institute for Social Justice at Union Institute & University and the Lucas County Board of Commissioners, the other MBAC NOW-Toledo partners include the Ivy Entrepreneur Institute, Ohio Unity Coalition, Premier Bank and T. Parker & Co.
Business hours for the new Ohio MBAC NOW-Toledo office are Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. All business consultations are free and scheduled by appointment only by calling 419-213-3890.