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State grants to LI agencies will help minority and women entrepreneurs

Two local groups will share $120,000 in state grants to help small businesses and minority or female entrepreneurs to secure financing.

La Fuerza Unida Community Development Corp. plans to use $70,000 in grant funds for technical assistance programs designed to help minority- and women-owned businesses that are competing for government contracts, and for small companies that are trying to win bank loans.

Officials at the East Norwich-based organization said it would offer training in QuickBooks accounting software and computer literacy.

The group also will establish a sewing cooperative where participants can learn how to sew and then use that skill in business.

La Fuerza has operated a revolving loan fund for qualified companies since 2003.

The Long Island Small Business Assistance Corp. will use its $50,000 grant for workshops and one-on-one counseling for aspiring entrepreneurs.

The Westbury-based corporation also offers qualified companies micro loans of up to $25,000.

Empire State Development, the state's primary business-aid agency, awarded the grants last week.

Since 1998, the agency has given more than $480,000 each to La Fuerza and Long Island Small Business Assistance.

Long Island Small Business Assistance is part of the Long Island Development Corp., also based in Westbury.

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