City unveils plan to help increase minority businesses

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Allan Daisley sees it all the time.

A would-be businessman with dreams and ideas that never materialize, and it's all because many never even get to the point of launching their business.

"There`s a lot of talent here in the city and when folks come in and they`re unable to launch a business for some simple reason like they can`t get it funded, I think it really is a loss to the city."

On Wednesday, the city unveiled a brand-new website it said could help alleviate this problem.

It's called

"It`s an online portal for businesses to be able to access and start up in a day at one website where they can get all the information that they need."

While it's available for all prospective business owners, the City said it should lead to more minority businesses.

"Our city is roughly 65 percent African-American and we have to grow the wealth in our majority population."

This year, Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland said just 14 percent of all City contracts went to minority-owned businesses.

While he said that number is significant, he said it's not the number he's hoping for.

"We`re not gonna set a specific number, but we`re gonna increase that number," he said.

How much of an increase?

That's still unclear, but also in the City's gameplan.

A 12-week workshop for existing minority businesses and a new agreement with the Small Business Administration are just some of the goals.