BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Minority- and women-owned businesses received some tools to use as they grow and prosper.

The Innovation Center on Ellicott Street hosted a Black Business networking event on Wednesday. Capital Connect joined other groups to help businesses make a plan for a better future.

“How to write a business plan, they help them with their website, they help them with their credit, and some of them provide loans, they provide grants, they provide capital funding,” said Duncan Kirkwood, outreach coordinator for Capital Connect. “So businesses can go from it being your side hustle, being a hobby, to being a business that you run full-time.”

Kirkwood said small and locally-owned businesses support their communities by hiring people who live there, and that often leads to employees making life-long homes there too.