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February 14, 2023

Pressley Celebrates Over $643K for African Community Economic Development of New England

Federal Dollars Will Support Small Businesses in Predominantly Low-Income, Black, Brown and African Immigrant Communities

Photos | Livestream

BOSTON – Today, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) visited the African Community Economic Development of New England (ACEDONE) to celebrate the $643,003 in community project funding she recently secured to support small businesses in predominately Black, brown and African immigrant communities. Rep. Pressley was joined by Boston City Councilor At-Large Ruthzee Louijeune, ACEDONE leadership, small business owners, and advocates, for a roundtable discussion and press conference highlighting how the funding will support an equitable pandemic recovery for small businesses.

“Our smallest neighborhood businesses are the lifeblood of our communities, but far too many have been left out of conversations for federal relief – especially those owned by our Black, brown and African immigrant neighbors that have been hardest-hit by the pandemic,” said Congresswoman Pressley. “ACEDONE’s programming efforts are vital to the economic vitality of our most vulnerable small businesses, and I am so proud to secure these federal investments to directly support this work. I am grateful to ACEDONE and local leaders for their partnership and look forward to seeing these resources put to good use.”

“This is a truly exciting push towards equity for our small businesses, many of whom were left out of the recovery relief funds available. This support will serve African immigrant businesses and keep them as integral tenets within their communities,” said ACEDONE CEO Abdulkadir Hussein

“My office has been fortunate to work with ACEDONE on many occasions, from protecting our valuable small business owners to addressing anti-Blackness in our immigration policy. This well-deserved federal funding will allow them to continue their advocacy that has a direct impact on the community they work tirelessly to serve. I look forward to our continued partnership,” said Councilor Ruthzee Louijeune.

“ACEDONE’s commitment to helping small businesses in its community is exemplary in meeting needs during COVID and during this time of post-recovery. Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation, on behalf of the Healey/Driscoll Administration, is proud to partner with and support Abdulkadir Hussein and the staff of ACEDONE in providing culturally and linguistically appropriate resources and capital,” said MGCC CEO Lawrence Andrews.

“ACEDONE has been a champion of equity centered community development none more exemplified at the peak of the pandemic. As a business owner, I have reaped the benefits of this organization’s endeavor in narrowing the racial wealth gap and economic opportunity through fair contracting. Without their painstaking work and justice, my business would not be thriving and now growing,” said Yusuf Yassin, proprietor of Ascia Foods LLC and soon-to-be opened Nubian Markets.

In attendance at the event were: Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07); Abdulkadir Y. Hussein, CEO, ACEDONE; Ruthzee Louijeune, Boston City Councilor At Large; Boston City Councilor Tatiana Fernandes Anderson; State Senator Liz Miranda; Lawrence Andrews, CEO, Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation; Katheine Martinez, Vice President of Business Development, MassDevelopment; Ivan Madrigal, Executive Director, Lawyers for Civil Rights; Rev. Dieufort Fleurissaint, Executive Director, True Alliance Center-Equity Now & Beyond; Yusuf Yassin, Business Owner, Ascia Foods LLC; Mana Shamsa, Business Owner, Madina Halal Market; and Chris Smith, CEO, Boston After School.

Photos from the event is available here and the full video is available here.

Rep. Pressley secured the federal funding for ACEDONE in the recent government spending package that passed Congress and was signed into law by President Biden in December. In total, Rep. Pressley secured millions for 15 community projects across the Massachusetts 7th Congressional District, capping off nearly a year of advocacy by Rep. Pressley and local leaders.