Picture left to right: Second Row (Tina Thomas, Stephen Obayuwana, Ann Fix, D’Wayne Morris, MayPa Yang), First Row (Trent Bowman, Warren McLean, Leo Lopez, and Anna Schmiel)

The Old National Bank Foundation, philanthropic arm of Old National Bank, presented a check for $10,000 to Northside Economic Opportunity Network (NEON), a nonprofit that seeks to create economic opportunity in North Minneapolis.

Three times a year, the foundation presents grants to organizations throughout its footprint that fit the strategic initiatives of affordable housing, early education, economic development, financial literacy and workforce development.

“We are absolutely thrilled to have Old National Bank as our newest partner in economic development,” said NEON President Warren McLean. “The grant will definitely help us increase our capacity to serve a greater number of clients in North Minneapolis. We are excited about the future of our bourgeoning partnership and its benefits to North Minneapolis entrepreneurs.”

NEON aims to address unemployment disparity in North Minneapolis. According to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), the unemployment rate is more than two times higher for Black Minnesotans compared to white Minnesotans. North Minneapolis has the densest Black population in the state.

Old National’s vice president of Community Development, Trent Bowman believes NEON’s work can help change the narrative for the North Minneapolis community.

“Business and community go hand-in-hand – the success of one depends heavily on the other. By empower community members to start their own businesses, NEON is truly helping North Minneapolis thrive,” said Bowman. “We at Old National are proud to support NEON and we’re excited to see more from their hard-working clients.”

The grant money will be used to provide 200 hours of technical assistance to entrepreneurs in North Minneapolis and surrounding areas.

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