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Friday, June 2, 2023

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A Wisconsin group criticizes two of its members of Congress, a new report says the Phoenix area cannot meet its groundwater demands, and Nevada's sporting community sends its priorities to the governor.

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The Senate aims to get the debt limit spending bill to President Biden's desk quickly, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis makes a campaign stop in Iowa, and a new survey finds most straight adults support LGBTQ+ rights.

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Oregon may expand food stamp eligibility to some undocumented households, rural areas have a new method of accessing money for roads and bridges, and Tennessee's new online tool helps keep track of cemetery locations.

Groups Help Reduce Barriers for GA Women in Trucking

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Thursday, May 18, 2023   

Two groups are working to create equal opportunities for Black and Latina women in the trucking industry.

The Truist Foundation has pledged $1.5 million to the Accion Opportunity Fund to support the Down Payment Assistance Program, which aims to empower minority women by helping them become first-time truck owners and entrepreneurs.

Luz Urrutia, CEO of the Accion Opportunity Fund, said the step is crucial in bridging the equity gap for underrepresented groups.

"America is in the midst of an entrepreneur boom with record numbers of small businesses, and they're led by women and people of color," Urrutia pointed out. "At the same time, there is a $130 million financing gap for small businesses who need less than $100,000 in this country."

Urrutia noted since 2010, Accion Opportunity Fund has invested $360 million in the trucking industry, providing crucial support to more than 6,000 first-time truck buyers through loans.

Nicole Ward, president of the African American Women Trucking Association and a trucking entrepreneur from Georgia, has firsthand experience with the challenges faced by women of color breaking into the trucking industry.

Despite encountering setbacks when trying to purchase her first truck, Ward persevered and now advocates for others in her community to do the same.

"I thought it would be as easy as purchasing a car, but I didn't realize that entering the industry you are looked at as a weaker link because it's a male-dominated industry," Ward explained. "Instead of jumping into the transportation industry I had to crawl in because I didn't have a certain financial support that was needed."

Ward hopes the Accion Opportunity Fund Program sets a precedent for other financial institutions in ensuring equitable access to funding for entrepreneurs of color.


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