January 10, 2022

Across the nation, the results of the 2020 census were the source of hand-wringing and political debate. But in Western New York, they were cause for unbridled celebration.

January 4, 2022

The West Side Bazaar is known as a melting pot of business owners from around the globe, but many of those entrepreneurs had to rebuild following a burglary in late November. Please note that Carolynn Welch is the executive director of WEDI, not Erin St. John Kelly, who is the director of external relations.

 December 9, 2021

Additional $1 million pledge toward the new West Side Bazaar

The campaign to raise funds for a new building for the West Side Bazaar passed the halfway mark Thursday with the announcement of $1 million in donations.

Buffalo News

WKBW Channel 7

WGRZ Channel 2

Spectrum News

Niagara Frontier Publications

December 2, 2021

Fifteen people and seven organizations were chosen from nearly 50 nominations for championing diversity and inclusion.

November 29, 2021

Break-in causes a break-out of Buffalove for WEDI's West Side Bazaar

The community comes together to support the West Side Bazaar after a break-in causes thousands in damage.


WIVB Channel 4

WKBW Channel 7

WGRZ Channel 2

Buffalo News Story: November 16, 2021

The Nile River is the longest waterway on the planet, but Akec Aguer's path to opening his first restaurant was longer yet.

WGRZ Channel News Story: October 27, 2021

The program is the result of a collaborative effort between the City’s Office of Strategic Planning and the Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency, the Westminster Economic Development Initiative, and the SUNY-Buffalo State College Small Business Development Center.

Buffalo Business First Story:  October 25, 2021

When Westminster Presbyterian Church was celebrating its 150th anniversary back in 2004, Betsy Mitchell raised her hand to join a focus group to come up with the next mission project.

The Washington Post Story:  October 21, 2021

Buffalo’s West Side is home to 72 languages. Curious to explore more, Charlotte stops by the West Side Bazaar. The food market doubles as an incubator that helps refugees and immigrants “test” business ideas. Local nonprofit and microlender WEDI provides support.

Buffalo  Business First Story: September 9. 2021

Western New York has the entrepreneurship bug – with much civic and private-sector attention being paid to founders and their young companies. But as that ideal has spread throughout the community, it’s also become crucial that underrepresented individuals aren’t left behind.

Yahoo! Finance Story:  August 27, 2021

KeyBank, in partnership with the First Niagara Foundation, recently announced a $1.5 million donation to support the Westminster Economic Development Initiative’s (WEDI) new West Side Bazaar Project. It’s an investment supporting an organization that provides minority and women-owned enterprises (MWBEs) in Buffalo, New York with the tools they need for sustainable success.

 August 16, 2021

KeyBank donating $1.5 million to new West Side Bazaar

Plans for a new West Side Bazaar are getting a significant boost from KeyBank.

Key, in partnership with the First Niagara Foundation, is contributing $1.5 million to the project, which will see the bazaar move to a larger building on Niagara Street.

Buffalo News

WKBW Channel 7

WGRZ Channel 2

Spectrum News


Niagara Frontier Publications

Buffalo Rising


Editor 99

News 21 Story: August 15, 2021

Buffalo — a factory town that borders Lake Erie and Canada — is divided among racial and ethnic neighborhoods, except for the west side. There, shop owners from across the world, including people from Somalia, Ethiopia and Myanmar, are building businesses to prop up the Rust Belt city. 

Buffalo News Story: July 2, 2021

Five Star Bank recently opened a location in the Elmwood Village that is a far cry from an old-school branch. In conjunction with the branch opening, Five Star pledged to donate at least $10,000 to the Westminster Economic Development Initiative. The size of the donation could go higher, based on new-account openings at the branch during a set period.

Buffalo News Story: June 29, 2021

An effort called Open4 has awarded about $3 million in funding. Open4 chose to distribute the funds among three Community Development Financial Institutions serving Buffalo and Rochester: the Westminster Economic Development Initiative, Pursuit, and PathStone Enterprise Center. 

Buffalo News Story: June 23, 2021

The restaurant food court inside West Side Bazaar is welcoming customers through its doors again, for the first time in more than a year.


WGRZ Channel 2 News

A recent White House decision to increase the number of international refugees allowed into the US from 15,000 up to over 62,000 may mean more will resettle here.

Buffalo’s food scene is so much more than just wings, and the indoor West Side Bazaar proves it.

WGRZ Channel 2 News: April 27, 2021

The restaurants are ranked based on how well they're reviewed, weighted by the number of reviews they get.

Buffalo News Story: April 7, 2021

The food and retail business, which helps small businesses get a start, is moving from Grant Street to a new home at 1432 Niagara St.

Stepout Buffalo: March 23, 2021

The search for good Chinese food within a reasonable (whatever that means to you) radius of your house is basically a rite of passage when you move. So whether you’re moving or just still haven’t found "the one", we’re here to help. 

Niagara Frontier Publications: March 23, 2021

M&T Bank announced it has donated $417,000 to support communities in Western New York as they continue to navigate the challenges of the pandemic

Buffalo Business First: February 17, 2021

The entries have been reviewed and the calculations completed. Eighty-two companies will be honored as Best Places to Work 2021 finalists at a virtual celebration on March 31.

Buffalo News Story: February 9, 2021

It started, like so many food stories do, with a hungry reader’s question: Where can I get dim sum in Buffalo?

WGRZ Channel 2 News Story: February 6, 2021

Of the 200 businesses, more than 100 are in the city, 52 percent are owned by women, and 43 percent are owned by people of color.

Buffalo Business Blitz WIVB Channel 4 Story: January 14, 2021

The Buffalo Business Blitz is continuing to help small, local businesses by giving out small business grants of up to $2,500.

Buffalo Business Blitz Ready for Applications:  Buffalo News January 13, 2021

Family Desinations Guide: January 12, 2021

Curiously named after the American bison, the city of Buffalo is famous for its chicken wings, natural wonders, and cultural diversity.

The Batavian NYS Small Business Truth-In-Lending Act: December 24, 2020

Channel 7 News WKBW Buffalo Story: October 15, 2020

The Kiosko Latino restaurant on Buffalo's West Side is not just surviving, but thriving during this pandemic. That success has led the owner to make a big move for her business.

Channel 2 News WGRZ Buffalo Story: October 12, 2020

Maria del Carmen and Alain Rodriguez have officially moved Kiosko Latino to its own brick and mortar at 345 West Ferry Street.

Channel 4 News WIVB Buffalo Story:  September 25, 2020 

Families across Western New York are being challenged by virtual learning, especially those who don’t speak English as a first language. A brother and sister in Buffalo are trying to change that.

Press Releases 

December 9, 2021

The $7.5 million capital campaign is now past the halfway mark with contributions from M&T Bank, The John R. Oishei Foundation, and the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo.

August 16, 2021

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

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

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.


Buffalo News Story: January 28, 2021

The push for diversity has been going on for years. And advocates say Buffalo Niagara's workforce still has a long way to go to truly become more equitable.

Buffalo News Opinion Piece August 30, 2020

In Buffalo and across New York State, small businesses are not only exposed to risks posed by Covid-19, but also to deception and harm from predatory lenders.

Avoiding Scams and Unethical Lending Practices June 2020

Repudiated:  "Unbankable" Business Owners June 2020

Starting and operating a small business is becoming increasingly difficult in today's world. Many individuals with aspirations of self-employment and entrepreneurship are being turned down by banks and other credit lending institutions.

Buffalo Protest Response June 4, 2020

In light of the events that have transpired this week in both Buffalo and across our nation, I would like to take a moment to recognize the significance of what has brought us to this point as a society.