Rep. Omar Announces $1 Million in Community Project Funding for Northside Economic Opportunity Network (NEON)

July 6, 2021
Press Release
MINNEAPOLIS—Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) today announced a $1 million community project funding proposal she advanced in the House appropriations process this year for the Northside Economic Opportunity Network (NEON). NEON is a North Minneapolis nonprofit whose mission is to build wealth for low to moderate income entrepreneurs.  Its vision is to transform North Minneapolis into a prosperous, visible, sustainable, and highly diverse multi-cultural community of entrepreneurs.  And together, we can invest in the people of the Northside.
 
“Just yesterday, the House passed the surface transportation bill, which included over 30 million dollars in funding for light rail transit and BRT funding throughout the 5th District, including the Northside,” Rep. Omar said. “And today, I am very excited to announce one million dollars in community project funding for NEON, which my office successfully advanced in the Appropriations process—and we expect to pass the House in the coming weeks and months. These funds will support the development of a Food Business Incubator for use by food entrepreneurs enrolled in NEON’s Food Business Incubator Program, which served over food businesses in 2020 alone.  Over 40% of NEON’s 1,000 plus clients are food entrepreneurs who do not currently have access to affordable commercial kitchen space in Minneapolis.
 
“This access is crucial not only for ensuring the success of these entrepreneurs but also for providing much needed goods and services to the Northside community, which is the fifth largest food desert in the nation.  I have experienced hunger myself. And I know how critical it is to make sure that people have healthy, reliable and affordable food options.   The requested $1 million will support the development of a Food Business Incubator for use by food entrepreneurs enrolled in NEON’s renowned Food Business Incubator Program, which served 540 food businesses in 2020. Founded in 2006, NEON exists to overcome systemic disinvestment in North Minneapolis by supporting the entrepreneurship of their clients who are 90% people of color and 80% African American. Over 40% of NEON’s 1,000+ clients are food entrepreneurs who do not currently have access to affordable commercial kitchen space in Minneapolis - this access is crucial not only for ensuring the success of these entrepreneurs but also for providing much needed goods and services to the Northside community, which is the fifth largest food desert in the nation.”
  
The funding will be included in the 2022 Financial Services and General Government appropriations bill. You can view all the community project funding here. The inclusion of this funding in the Appropriations Committee draft bill is the first step in the funding process. The bill then moves to the full Appropriations Committee, consideration on the House Floor, and the Senate. 
 
 
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