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Two Missouri cities receive portions of a $30 million grant to boost local entrepreneurial networks

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The University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Free Enterprise Center and BioSTL in St. Louis are in line to each receive a portion of a $30 million grant from JPMorgan Chase’s Small Business Forward program.

UMKC’s Free Enterprise Center, which is in the planning phase, will use the grant for tech equipment. Once operational, the center will be open to students, businesses and the community, offering a variety of services to help small business grow.

BioSTL will use the grant money to attract additional capital to the region to advance medical and plant science companies as well as the broader innovation ecosystem.

JPMorgan Chase’s Small Business Forward program, launched this month, is a five-year, $30 million grant program aimed to boost small business networks that help growing enterprises in specific industries. The program will fund nonprofit cluster organizations that work with small businesses concentrated in a single sector and connect entrepreneurs with critical resources to help their business grow, create jobs and strengthen communities.