GLEN BURNIE, Md. (WJZ) — Anne Arundel County is launching a new program to help minority-owned businesses expand and grow.

Running a business is not always easy, especially for minorities.

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Lisa Ennis is the Owner of Eccentrics The Salon in Odenton and has been running the business for 27 years.

Ennis knows how hard it can be, but despite the challenges, she said it’s important to see a diverse group of people running businesses.

“It just lets people know that you have more than one group that runs a business,” Ennis said.

Anne Arundel County announced Friday the launch of their new Inclusive Ventures Program for minority, women and veteran business owners.

The six-week program includes a weekly class led by a business consultant, consultations with experts and a $5,000 grant.

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Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman said it will help bridge the economic gap many minorities experience.

“This is a really essential part of dealing with the inequities we have in our county,” he said.

Only 10 business owners can take part right now, but they hope to expand the program.

Ennis said she knows a lot of people will be interested and is glad to see local leaders taking steps to help minorities.

“I’m really grateful that [Pittman’s] mind is open to help the underserved community,” she said.

The application is available online at aaedc.org. You can apply now through February 19.

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Stetson Miller