With all eyes on North Carolina for its part in the Super Tuesday primary, Vice-President Kamala Harris paid a visit to Durham on Friday. 

As part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Investing in America tour, Harris announced that $32 million would be awarded through the State Small Business Credit Initiative. The American Rescue Plan Act money will go to ten women and minority-led venture capital firms, including Nex Cubed, RevTech Labs, LaVert Ventures, and Latimer Ventures. The firms will then invest in startups and small businesses, using the funds to support entrepreneurship.

Standing outside the Ella West Gallery alongside the Black Wall Street historical marker on Parrish Street, Harris was joined by Democrat Gov. Roy Cooper and U.S. Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo.

She said the $32 million would be matched by $60 million from private-sector venture capital partners, including clean energy and technology companies, including those involving AI.

“For many people, the American dream is starting your own business,” Cooper said. “Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. They create good-paying jobs, and sometimes they grow into big businesses. to start a business, though, you need money, and there are a lot of smart people with great ideas and a work ethic who, with some capital investment, can start a successful business.”

Adeyemo said he sees a lot of venture capitalists, but they don’t look like the venture capitalists he saw in Durham, who look like America and Black Wall Street. 

“People of color and women who are more likely to lend to the type of business that we’ve visited today, meaning that they’re going to continue what we’ve already seen in the Biden-Harris Administration, which is a historic growth of small businesses,” he said.

Harris said the Biden-Harris Administration has invested over $3 billion in entrepreneurs and small businesses in North Carolina, including billions of dollars in small business loans for thousands of small businesses in the state. 

“Ultimately, it makes economic and financial sense for us to do this work because the bottom line, and yes, the bottom line, I speak in economic terms, is that this produces an extraordinary return on investment, and that is as much as any other reason why we are doing this work together with our partners,” Harris told the crowd.

Demonstrators protested Harris’ visit to Durham organized by Mothers for Ceasefire, calling for North Carolina Democratic primary voters to choose “No preference” over voting for a Biden/Harris second term.

The Mothers for Ceasefire group protests VP Harris’ visit to Durham. Source: Mothersforceasefire Instagram account.

President Joe Biden kicked off the Investing in America Tour in March 2023 in Durham.

This was Harris’ 10th visit to the state and the second this year. She visited a Charlotte-area school last month.

It’s a busy weekend for politicos in the Tar Heel State. Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley will be in Charlotte Friday night at Norfolk Hall at Suffolk Punch and Saturday at Union Hall in Raleigh. Also, on Saturday, former President Donald Trump will be at the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro.