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St. Pete welcomes Tampa Bay Black Business Investment Corp. to Midtown

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman plans to spend his Friday morning celebrating the new Tampa Bay Black Business Investment Corp.

The new organization aims to offer resources, partnering opportunities and even loans to businesses owned and operated by African-American business leaders. The focus is on historically underserved markets.

That would include two areas the city has recently been focusing revitalization efforts on – Midtown and Child’s Park.

The Tampa Bay Black Business Investment Corp. officially opens at 1123 22 Street South in St. Pete Friday morning at 9. Kriseman will attend the opening with Deputy Mayor Dr. Kanika Tomalin.

The project is partly funded by the City of St. Pete.

The Tampa Bay Black Business Investment Corp. has been established since 1987. Traditionally the group worked to serve black entrepreneurs but now expands service to those in all ethnic backgrounds.

They provide services often not cost-effective for banks to assist small business owners with, including underwriting, analysis of business and personal finances and other technical assistance.

The Tampa Bay group’s contributions have reached $12 million since its inception in 1987.

The group is headed by banking guru Albert Lee. Lee will also be on hand for the opening of the St. Petersburg location.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email janelle@floridapolitics.com.

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