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Press releases about us

March 25, 2024

$250 JPMorgan Chase Foundation grant powers, creating financial opportunity for Upstate Entrepreneurs

The initiative covering Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse is excited to share it’s received an additional $250,000 grant from JPMorgan Chase to continue providing access to capital to underserved entrepreneurs in these communities. was created by a consortium of four Community Development Financial Institution Fund (CDFI) financing organizations, including Launch NY, The Enterprise Center at PathStone, the Westminster Economic Development Initiative (WEDI), and Pursuit, who share the mission of supporting small businesses and startups that can’t access traditional sources of capital.

October 16, 2023

Governor Hochul Celebrates the reopening of West Side Bazaar at new, expanded location in Buffalo

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the re-opening of the popular West Side Bazaar at its new, expanded location at 1432 Niagara Street in Buffalo. The new and significantly expanded West Side Bazaar, operated by the Westminster Economic Development Initiative, provides space for dozens of food, retail, and professional services businesses, in addition to office and classroom space, test rental kitchens, and a full-service bar and event space.

April 17, 2023

Governor Hochul Announces Advancement of Transformational Redevelopment of North Aud Block at Buffalo's Canalside

The ECHDC Board also selected Pennrose NY Developer LLC as the preferred developer of the North Aud Block. Pennrose has teamed with MSquared, a women-owned and managed social impact real estate company, and the Westminster Economic Development Initiative.

November 10, 2022

Congressman Higgins Announces $375,000 for Westminster Economic Development Initiative (WEDI)

Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) announced that WEDI received two federal grants totaling $375,000. A grant for $250,000 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families, Office of Refugee Resettlement will continue support for refugee-owned microenterprises. Another $125,000 grant is allocated through the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CFDI) fund.

August 30, 2022

Governor Hochul Announces Groundbreaking for New West Side Bazaar in Buffalo

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced construction has begun on a $11.5 million project to create a new and significantly expanded West Side Bazaar. Founded by the Westminster Economic Development Initiative in 2011, the West Side Bazaar small business incubator quickly became a popular shopping and dining destination for locals and tourists searching for unique food and retail opportunities.

August 12, 2022

Erie County Arts and Cultural Capital Projects Committee Designates Award 

Art and cultural institutions of all sizes across Erie County will soon be seeing capital improvements following the investment of over $8.6 million in new county funding to support these organizations’ efforts, the initial investments of a $25 million initiative announced by Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz in his 2022 State of the County address.

July 19, 2022

Monarch Private Capital And WEDI Partner To Support A New Home For West Side Bazaar

Buffalo’s West Side Bazaar, a program of the Westminster Economic Development Initiative (WEDI), secured Historic and New Markets Tax Credit equity from Monarch Private Capital with which to invest in its multicultural community hub that supports small business owners.

May 9, 2022

Congressman Higgins Announces $950,000 For WEDI: Funding Supports the West Side Bazaar Expansion Project

“Small businesses, including these operated by Western New York’s immigrant and refugee population, enrich our community culturally and economically,” said Congressman Higgins. “This federal funding secured for WEDI will be critical in completing the West Side Bazaar expansion project, which will allow the organization to serve a greater number of up-and-coming, traditionally underserved entrepreneurs in the Western New York community.” 

August 16, 2021

KeyBank,  in partnership with the First Niagara Foundation, Donates $1.5 Million to Support WEDI's West Side Bazaar Project

KeyBank, in partnership with the First Niagara Foundation, is donating $1.5 million to support the Westminster Economic Development Initiative's new West Side Bazaar Project. This transformative gift is part of KeyBank's $40 billion National Community Benefits Plan and is symbolic of the bank's longstanding commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

July 29, 2021

Higgins Announces Approval of Federal Funding Package Including Millions for Western New York

Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) announced the approval of H.R. 4502, a package of seven appropriation bills making investments in federal programs and initiatives including infrastructure, education, small business, and job opportunity, among other priorities for America and Western New York, including $950,000 for the Westminster Economic Development Initiative (WEDI) to support the expansion of the West Side Bazaar. Watch the announcement or read the press release.

June 29, 2021

$1.7 Million, Requested by Congressman Higgins for Small Business Development in Western New York, Advances in Committee

Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) announced federal legislation, which includes $1.7 million to help small businesses in Western New York, has crossed an initial legislative hurdle. A House Appropriations subcommittee approved a bill including $950,000 for the Westminster Economic Development Initiative (WEDI) to support the expansion of the West Side Bazaar and $750,000 for the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at SUNY Buffalo State to help small businesses in Western New York expand e-commerce and grow an online presence.

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