Small businesses in Hartford, notably minority-owned, have been granted $80,000 in combined awards from the non-profit, International Hartford. As an advocate of immigrant entrepreneurs, this organization aims to create new opportunities and foster growth, especially within the current pandemic-stricken economy. The diverse class of recipients span various industries from a local eatery to a digital marketing firm, embodying the rich entrepreneurial spirit within Hartford.

The organization is hopeful that this infusion of funds can inspire job creation and community development. Many businesses have already designated their funds for improvement projects, expressing their gratitude for the indispensable support from International Hartford.

The Executive Director of International Hartford, Art Feltman, explained that the main motive of these grants is to grant crucial financial aid to promising yet financially hindered businesses. The aim is to ameliorate the financial challenges faced by many and offer a lifeline during these testing times. Feltman highlights that the goal of International Hartford is to bolster economic growth by backing local enterprises and their significant roles in the community.

Feltman further emphasized the significance of these businesses in their localities. Small businesses often bolster economic growth by providing employment opportunities and supporting their communities. Feltman stressed the importance of recognizing the enormous potential these businesses hold for enhancing the appeal of their cities and towns, and fostering their growth.

One of this year’s grant recipients, Queen’s Fashion, a retail boutique, is owned by a Ghanaian immigrant, Vida Mensah. After losing her job during the pandemic, she decided to be self-employed, successfully launching “Queen’s Fashion”. The International Hartford grant enabled her to improve her retail space and urges other business owners to also seek similar funding for growth.

Looking forward, International Hartford intends to extend more support to immigrant and minority business owners, as they play a key role in fostering business success. The organization plans to arrange business training seminars, mentorship programs, and funding opportunities catered to the unique needs of these communities. Ultimately, International Hartford seeks to create a prosperous environment where these entrepreneurs can flourish, enhancing economic diversity and growth in Hartford.

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