By Jurry Taalib-Deen
Journal Staff Writer
The Ohio Minority Business Assistance Center of Northwest Ohio, MBAC NWO-Toledo, combined the aspects of a carnival, and casino, to come up with a Carniball, to highlight, and celebrate, its financial success, as well as, the entrepreneurs it has helped. Held at the Toledo Art Museum, Glass Pavilion, 2444 Monroe, officials of the center, business owners, government officials, and members of the public attended the black tie affair to hear about the bottom line.
Attendees ate dinner, received an annual report of the MBAC, heard comments from the MBAC’s advisory board, and gave awards to local entrepreneurs. Then, the casino atmosphere would begin, in which participants could play roulette, and various card games, with fake money, to add the icing to a cake they began making the past year.
A few of the numbers shared that evening, that was also listed in a program book, were, $520, 000 in access of capital from the State of Ohio for NWO-Toledo MBAC clients during the 2021 fiscal year, 46 of 62 jobs were created/retained through the NWO-Toledo MBAC program, and $5.1 million in contracts procured with the assistance of NWO-Toledo MBAC during the 2021 fiscal year.
The awardees were Ella Silva, who has been in business for some years, received the “Shooting Star” award, Shalon Carr received the “Rising Star” award for an up and coming business, and Dawn Watson received the “Sunray Advocacy” award for mentoring a new business owner.
“What did I do to get this award,” Ms. Silva told The Toledo Journal, she asked herself when she found out she would be a recipient. “When you give, and you’re not use to receiving, you’re shocked when someone gives to you.” Ms. Silva is the owner of Garza Construction Company.
Ms. Watson also said she was surprised about receiving the award. “I was like, wow; I wasn’t expecting this.” Ms. Watson has years of experience in industrial cleaning. She dedicated her time consulting a young woman who just entered the industry.
Dr. Shanda Gore, president/CEO of Mays & Associates and Managing Principle for Ohio MBAC NWO Toledo grant, wants minorities, and women to take advantage of the many services the center offers. “Our specialists are trained, and we recommend you look into what we offer.”
Currently, the center has micro-grants available for any minority, or women owned businesses. For more information about the services offered or the mico-grant, call 419.213.3890.