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(COLUMBIA, MO) - The City of Columbia Economic Development department has named Ray Hall as the new minority business coordinator.

In the role, Hall will provide business coaching, mentoring and training to increase job creation and growth of minority-owned businesses. The City's minority business coordinator works one-on-one with businesses to connect them to resources and assist in building relationships with area partners and investors. The position plays a prominent role in creating a more equitable business environment in Columbia.

"As the City's minority business coordinator, I want to bring awareness to minority-owned businesses about resources available to them through REDI," Hall said. "Through my work, I aim to build confidence for business owners in my own community and ensure that they have access to resources that will allow them to thrive, despite their business literacy or experience."

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Hall was born and raised in Columbia. Before coming to REDI, he was the founder of Dream Tree Academy, which provides free after-school educational programs for students between the ages of 11 and 18.

The minority business coordinator position was previously held by the late James Whitt, who was a contracted employee of the City and managed the Supplier Diversity program. The City Council has since approved the position to be a full-time City position.

"Ray Hall has a phenomenal passion when it comes to seeing minority-owned businesses in our community succeed," Economic Development Director Stacey Button said. "Hall is going to continue to build off of the work Jim Whitt did during his time at the City and will bring his own energy and tremendous skill set to the position. I am excited to see how his work will make a positive impact in our community."

Filed Under: Government, City

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