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Local

Federal funding aimed at boosting local startups

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Mike Desmond/wbfo news
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Washington is putting up money into encouraging Western New York entrepreneurs.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Assistant Commerce Secretary Jay Williams came to The Innovation Center yesterday to talk about how business innovators can help the local economy. The $500,000 from the Economic Development Administration goes to Launch New York.

"Who doesn't feel the excitement and passion of entrepreneurship when you walk into this building?" asked President and CEO Marnie LaVigne.
       
"It's so powerful. What it can tell you is this type of entrepreneurial spirit is going on throughout the 27 counties. Our goal is to make that visible to the rest of the world."

Williams says he understands how an economy can suffer when dominant industries leave since he was mayor of Youngstown, Ohio which also lost the steel industry and is re-creating itself with technology. He says it really helps if entrepreneurs from all racial groups start and develop their businesses since everyone benefits.