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LEAP Adds New Department To Boost Business For People Of Color

Tony Willis Zoom image
Tony Willis will lead a new department at the Lansing Economic Area Partnership.

The Lansing Economic Area Partnership has announced a new effort to expand business opportunities for people of color in mid-Michigan.

LEAP’s new Department of Equitable Economic Planning, or DEEP, will be led by Tony Willis. He says he wants DEEP to eliminate barriers that have prevented people from taking full advantage of the economy.

Willis adds that “when Black business is doing well, when Hispanic business is doing well, when women’s business is doing well, everybody benefits.”

Willis includes veterans among those eligible to get help from his office.

The new department has long-term goals that include support for supply chain advancement, and the implementation of progressive business policies.

Along with this new department, LEAP provides an entrepreneurship program called One and All, which offers business coaching to underrepresented populations. 

Scott Pohl is a general assignment news reporter and produces news features and interviews. He is also an alternate local host on NPR's "Morning Edition."
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