ST. LOUIS – While attending Monday’s ribbon-cutting for the Northside Economic Empowerment Center, St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones announced that she’d approved a measure bringing $93 million in federal money to help disinvested communities.

The center, located in the Sumner High School annex, will focus on business empowerment and workforce development. Residents and businesses will be able to get technical help, money, back-office support services, and training.

“We wanted to make sure we had the resources and could get access to things that they need to thrive in communities they live in,” Jones said. “And Summer and St. Louis Public Schools had this space available. What better way to use it than to open an economic empowerment center?”

Neal Richardson, executive director of the St. Louis Development Corporation, said the NEEC will act as a “one-stop shop” for women and minority-owned businesses to get what they need to develop and thrive.

Mayor Jones hopes that investing in these long-neglected communities will see neighborhoods prosper and make the city a safer place to live.