Federal officials opened a Neighborhood Opportunity Center in the Crenshaw District on Wednesday that is designed to be a clearinghouse for information, technical advice and referrals to help minority businesses recover from the Los Angeles riots.
The center, prompted by President Bush's Task Force on the Los Angeles Recovery, is located at Founders National Bank.
At the same time, officials announced the tentative formation of two investment corporations, each seeded by a $1.5-million commitment from private investors, to provide loans and capital to minority businesses in the Crenshaw area.
The federal Small Business Administration must approve the investors' applications to participate in its small business investment corporation program. If approval is granted, the seed money could be matched by federal funds.
The investors in one fund are the Rev. E.V. Hill, chairman of Community Brace Inc. and pastor of Mt. Zion Baptist Church, and Trinity Broadcasting Network's National Minority Television Inc., which is headed by TBN founder and Chairman Paul F. Crouch.
Earlier this year, Crouch's Tustin-based network withdrew a bid to buy a Philadelphia-area TV station after station employees and others questioned Crouch's assertion that National Minority Television was owned by minorities.
The other investment fund's seed money comes from businessman Wallace O. Stephens, chairman of URB CAP Ventures.