Minority women who own Charlotte businesses eligible for new grant

The City of Charlotte is offering a way to help minority women grow their businesses.

One business owner who applied for the city’s new grant told Channel 9′s Almiya White she wanted to expand her salon.

“I started my journey when I was 12 years old. I started doing my neighbors’ hair, my friend’s hair, family members,” said Yolanda Sanders, the owner of Designer Beauty Clinic.

Sanders offers a wide range of hair services at her north Charlotte salon. But now, she’s looking to expand her business outside of her four walls.

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“We’re growing out of this space. We want to bring awareness to a new area,” she told White.

The area she’s referring to is a building on Beatties Ford Road, and she’s hoping a new grant she’s applied for will help her get there.

“Banks are kind of reluctant to give loans,” Sanders said.

“[Grants are] what we need right now for small businesses, not loans,” said Charlotte City Councilman James Mitchell. “Access to capital is still a big issue for small businesses in our community.”

Mitchell said the Beyond Open Charlotte grant aims to help minority women business owners and transform the city’s six key corridors.

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“We have great corporate partners,” Mitchell said. “But I think what’s really going to separate us is our small business environment.”

“I’m glad it’s just for women-owned businesses because they are the future,” he added.

So while Sanders waits to see if she gets the grant, she already has a laundry list of things it could bring to her business.

“We were looking for the grant to be able to buy new equipment, state-of-the-art stuff so we can go ahead and do what we need to do with scalp therapy and helping our clients grow their hair back,” Sanders said.

Right now, it’s unclear when the recipients will be announced.

Sanders is hoping to move into her new salon by spring. She also setup a GoFundMe in the meantime to help with the move -- click here to contribute.

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