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Inner-City Innovation

Clinton and Congress move toward increasing incentives for entrepreneurs ready to take on low-income communities.

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This story appears in the February 2000 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

First, there were Empowerment Zones (EZ) and Enterprise Communities (EC). HUBzones followed. Now President Clinton and House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) are negotiating on a third federal program to lure small businesses to inner cities: a so-called New Markets Initiative.

Clinton proposed the program in early 1999 as part of his fiscal 2000 SBA budget. But Congress turned its nose up and did nothing with the bundle of programs, which focused on establishing one-stop financing offices in poverty-stricken inner cities. In November, though, Clinton and Hastert met to discuss the idea.

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