BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore’s congressional delegation on Thursday announced the region will get more than $450,000 to help support minority- and women-owned businesses and create jobs.

The money will come from the U.S. Department of Commerce through the Opportunity Zones Assistance Project, Sens. Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressmen Kweisi Mfume, John Sarbanes and Dutch Ruppersberger said in a joint news release. Local funding will also help cover some of the initiative’s costs.

“As a result of systemic and entrenched injustices in our society, businesses located in underserved communities – and especially businesses owned by women and people of color – have faced tremendous barriers to accessing the financial resources and technical support they need to succeed,” the lawmakers said in the release. “With strategic investments, more minority-owned and women-owned businesses can get off the ground, prosper, and boost local economies with good-paying jobs. We will continue working to deliver federal resources that help small business owners and strengthen Maryland’s economy for generations to come.”

As part of the program, Operation HOPE and Morgan State University will help more than 1,200 business owners and entrepreneurs in the Baltimore area with financial guidance and technical assistance.