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Microloans, economic development for Jax New Town small businesses

New Town is one of those Jacksonville neighborhoods where most new development is that of the franchised corporate variety.

That could change soon, as the Jax Chamber, JP Morgan, and the city of Jacksonville are collaborating to let local small business owners know what resources are available.

Among those resources, discussed during a Thursday evening orientation in an overflow room at Edward Waters College: JAX Chamber’s small business development education program, the City of Jacksonville’s façade improvement program, and Accion’s microloan and SBA Advantage programs.

Introducing the event: EWC President Nat Glover, who called the initiative a “big deal,” both for the area and the city at large.

Glover, who has developed a friendship with Mayor Lenny Curry since Curry’s inauguration in 2015, called the Republican “one of the most courageous mayors” for taking pension reform head on.

Curry, for his part, lauded Glover — and the corporate partners in the initiative.

“Government can’t do it all,” Curry said.

Citing his “One City, One Jacksonville” theme, Curry noted that initiatives like tonight exemplified the premise, to “get out and act and work together.”

And ultimately, that’s a big part of the story — a collaborative spirit, driven by stakeholders, including the JAX Chamber and others.

J.P. Morgan, for example, is advancing $400,000 of funding, to help Accion help those in these communities who have capital needs that, if fulfilled, could serve as economic turnaround engines.

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Councilman Garrett Dennis noted that this “could have happened anywhere in the city, but is happening at EWC, in New Town.”

For those looking to ensure that every neighborhood in the city has a shot at economic vitality, initiatives like this are key drivers.

Written By

A.G. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at AG@FloridaPolitics.com

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