March , 2018

CHICAGO, IL - Crime statistics show that last year, more than 9.9 million Americans were ...
Mound Bayou, MS (BlackNews.com) -- Whenever the Afrikan born in Amerika sets out to ...
Trauma Center Activists will hold a press conference December 9th, 2015 at 4:30pm at 58th ...
  New America Media (NAM), the nation's largest association of ethnic media outlets, announced the winners ...
  Dr. Mark Kaschube brings tricks and treats to the Akoo Theatre to raise money for ...
CHICAGO, IL – Women Business Enterprises (WBEs) and established business owners seeking to do business ...
New book, "Black Author Secrets: How I Make $2,500 + In Book Sales Every Month!" ...
Chicago IL - Summer 2014.  The ICFilmFest, the first touring festival of world class ...
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has canceled the Washington Redskins ...
EVANSTON, IL - Piccolo Theatre's new production of A Midsummer Night's Dream makes no claim ...

Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

Illinois Department of Transportation Will Host a Two-Day Conference for Female- and Minority-Owned Businesses

Posted by Admin On March - 8 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

Today’s Challenge, Tomorrow’s Reward: Creating Opportunity for Female- and Minority-Owned Businesses


Conference helps small firms grow through skill-building, networking


SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Department of Transportation will host Today’s Challenge, Tomorrow’s Reward on March 19 and 20 at the President Abraham Lincoln Springfield Hotel and Bank of Springfield Center. The two-day conference provides female- and minority-owned businesses with opportunities to make connections and develop skills to increase their competitiveness.

“Building a high-quality, diverse workforce strengthens the Illinois economy and promotes more competition on state projects,” said Gov. Bruce Rauner. “Getting our small business owners the tools they need to succeed is a small investment that pays off for years to come.”

The annual conference, presented by IDOT’s Office of Business and Workforce Diversity, offers workshops, seminars on best practices, and networking opportunities for firms and contractors wanting to do business with the state through the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program.

Topics covered will include: advanced financing, work category expansion, the Highway Construction Careers Training Program, erosion control, small businesses and tax plan changes, subcontractor payment tracking, changes to the supportive services program, labor agreements, marketing strategies and more. A special awards presentation will conclude the conference.

“The Illinois Department of Transportation is committed to making diversity a priority,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn. “Today’s Challenge, Tomorrow’s Reward  was designed to foster a more inclusive business environment by helping disadvantaged businesses grow through networking and skill-building sessions, enabling them to more effectively compete for state projects.”

The event is well attended by subcontractors and prime contractors in construction, trucking, engineering and other consulting services. Click here for registration information and other event details.

American Dream Business Pitch Competition Starts U.S. Tour with Black Expo America

Posted by Admin On March - 6 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

Washington, DC –  ‘American Dream Business’ announces the US tour with Black Expo America ‘American Dream Business’ pitch competition will travel across the U.S. hosting casting calls for business owners to pitch their business idea or concept to win $1,000, after the 2018 tour, American Dream Business Pitch Competition will award $20,000 at the finale in Washington, DC The Black Expo America tour kicks off in Washington DC on March 10, 2018 at the Renaissance Hotel 999 9th Street from 10 am – 6:00 pm.

Contestants are invited to register to pitch their business to qualify to become one of the Top Ten to pitch on stage to win $1,000. Business icons serving as judges include Warren Brown, Celebrity Chef at CakeLove, Denise Rolark Barnes, Publisher of The Washington Informer Newspaper and others.

‘American Dream Business’ (ADB) is the brainchild of D. Yvonne Rivers, Principal of Phoebe Marketing Group and Creator and Producer of DC Shark Tank established in 2015. Business Pitch competitions are popping up across the globe. ADB beings a fresh and unique approach and perspective to pitching your business. Win or lose a pitch competition, business owners will be linked with business resources in all cities to grow and sustain a profitable business which is the ‘American Dream Business. ADB will be filmed on September 27th to produce a trailer to market to television networks.

About Phoebe Marketing Group (PMG) www.phoebemarketing.com ceo@phoebemarketing.com

  1. Yvonne Rivers has been the Principal of The Phoebe Marketing Group since 1997, a business development, marketing and training company serving globally and headquartered in Washington, DC. She also provides motivational speaking to social entrepreneurs to grow globally with webinars, books, tapes and LIVE events. Yvonne is a graduate of Lincoln University in Pennsylvania and studied graduate marketing at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia.


Yvonne has over twenty-five years of business experience and is the creator and producer of ‘ DC Shark Tank ‘and ‘Phoebe Pitch Tank’ now, ‘American Dream Business’ which is a business pitch competition established in 2015 that has developed tremendous accolades including being featured ‘Black Enterprise Magazine’ and speaking and pitch competitions across the United States. Yvonne has expanded to Johannesburg, South Africa, London and Tamale, Ghana with her business ventures.

About Black Expo America Inc.: www.blackexpoamerica.com info@blackexpoamerica.com


Black Expo America Inc. was established by Mark Anthony Jenkins in 2013 in New York City. Black Expo America Inc. is a tradeshow, expo planning, and marketing company that has produced business expos and conferences in major cities such as New York, NY, Newark, NJ, and Philadelphia, PA. Black Expo America Inc. will emerge as the leading event planner uniting distinguished African-American, Caribbean and African entrepreneurs, business owners and professionals by showcasing their products and services nationwide. Black Expo Inc. will travel to 30 tour cities in 2018 with Black Expo America and Phenomenal Black Woman Expo events to cities including: Washington, Baltimore, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Detroit, Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, Memphis and more. Our mission is to restore, revitalize and re-energize the African American, Caribbean and African community through the promotion of entrepreneurship coupled with personal growth and business development.

We seek to encourage African American, Caribbean American, and African business owners to follow their dreams, whatever they may be; and to inspire the belief that the capacity for success and greatness lies within oneself.


New FTC Website Helps Small Businesses

Posted by Admin On May - 10 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

When scammers and hackers attack small businesses, it hurts not only the businesses’ reputations and bottom line, but also the integrity of the marketplace. Today, FTC Acting Chairman Maureen Ohlhausen announced a new FTC website, FTC.gov/SmallBusiness, to help business owners avoid scams, protect their computers and networks, and keep their customers’ and employees’ data safe. If you own a business you’ll want to check it out!

At FTC.gov/SmallBusiness you’ll find:

  • Tips on how to avoid scams that target businesses
  • Advice to help you protect your customers’ and employees’ sensitive data
  • Videos that show what you can do to secure your business’s networks

You can also find the FTC’s newest article Small Business Computer Security Basics, which has tips to help companies protect their files and devices, train employees to think twice before sharing account information, and keep their wireless network protected. The article also tells you what to do if a hacker gets into your computers or networks.

Go to FTC.gov/SmallBusiness, bookmark it and visit it often. And subscribe to the FTC’s business blog to stay connected.

City of Chicago Holds “On The Road” Small Business Expo

Posted by Admin On May - 5 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS


Expo Offers Free Resources from Nearly 40 Agencies, Workshops and Opportunity to Hear from Keynote Speaker Restaurateur and Master Sommelier Alpana Singh


The City of Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) today announced its second Small Business Center ‘On the Road’ Expo on Thursday, May 4, 2017 at 1871 in the Merchandise Mart. The free expo, designed to support small businesses and grow entrepreneurship throughout Chicago’s neighborhoods, offers new and existing business owners the opportunity to consult, network, gather information and receive expert advice on topics such as licensing, financing and business planning.  The expo is part of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s efforts to help small businesses grow in every neighborhood as an engine of economic opportunity and ongoing development.

“Bringing free business resources to the neighborhoods ensures existing and emerging entrepreneurs have direct access to vital resources to help them grow their business ventures,” said BACP Commissioner Samantha S. Fields. “Small businesses are the backbone of Chicago’s economy, and we must support them by bringing resources and services they need to be successful. So, I invite all those who may not be able to come to City Hall to stop by our evening Small Business Center’s ‘On the Road’ Expo and get a full complement of services and resources.”

BACP licenses nearly 65,000 businesses in Chicago and holds over 100 free workshops throughout the year. The expo is part of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s agenda to support neighborhood businesses and economic development. The Small Business Center ‘On the Road expo is a series of five free expos in different neighborhoods throughout Chicago. The series is a partnership between BACP, the Office of New Americans (ONA), Western Union, Fifth Third Bank and COUNTRY Financial®.

The expo is free and open to the public. Nearly 40 government and non-profit agencies essential to entrepreneurship will be on hand to provide important services and resources, including the Chicago Department of Procurement Services, Illinois State Treasurer, SCORE, Internal Revenue Service, the Illinois Attorney General and more. 

Free professional headshots and mini-makeovers, including make-up touchups and hairstyling, sales pitch training, consumer and financial help will be available. Business consultants from the Small Business Center will be available to help attendees apply or renew a business license and make an appointment for additional counseling at City Hall. In addition, the Center for Economic Progress will provide a free tax clinic and The Law Project will provide a free legal clinic with representatives offering 20-minute consultations.

There will also be two free workshops held following the keynote speech from 7:00 PM until 8:00 PM. The complete schedule is below.

5:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Visit with vendors, get expert advice, receive a mini makeover and free headshots

Keynote Speaker: 6:00 PM – 6:30PM

Restaurateur and Master Sommelier Alpana Singh

Workshops: 7:00 PM -8:00 PM

Workshop 1:  Access to Capital: Helping Your Business Grow”

Presented by: Fifth Third Bank and ACCION

This workshop addresses traditional and non-traditional credit sources and how to best prepare for when your company needs it most. 

Workshop 2:  Measure It: The Value of Social Media

Presented by: Alumnus of Goldman Sachs “10,000 Small Businesses”

This workshop tackles the issue of taking small business promotion beyond “likes” and reaching tangible goals through data. How to amplify existing digital marketing practices from SEO to paid search (PPC) and how applying measurable strategy to social media will boost overall conversions will be covered.


Networking: 8:00 PM – 9:00 PM

A one-hour networking session on building and growing a business hosted by City Treasurer Kurt Summers

The May 4 expo will be held at 1871 from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM. 1871 is located on the 12th floor, Suite 1212 of  theMart (Merchandise Mart) at 222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza, Chicago. The evening location is home to 400+ early-stage, high growth digital startups and entrepreneurs. 

The 2017 Small Business Center ‘On the Road’ expo series remaining dates and locations are:

  • June 24, 2017 @ South Shore Cultural Center – 7059 S. South Shore Drive
  •  September 16, 2017 @ Wright College – 4300 N. Narragansett Avenue
  • November 4, 2017 @ Malcolm X – 1900 W. Jackson Blvd.

To register for an expo or for more information, visit www.chismallbizexpo.com, call (312) 744-2086 or email BACPoutreach@cityofchicago.org. For more information about the City of Chicago’s Small Business Center visit www.cityofchicago.org/sbc.

The City of Chicago Department of Business Affairs & Consumer Protection (BACP) Offers FREE Business Workshops

Posted by Admin On March - 29 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

The City of Chicago Department of Business Affairs & Consumer Protection (BACP) offers FREE business workshops every Wednesday and Friday at City Hall, 8th Floor. To register for a workshop call 312-744-2086. You also can register by emailing BACPoutreach@cityofchicago.org.

April 2017 Workshop Calendar
4/5     City Inspections – Ask Questions, Get Answers
3:00 to 4:30 p.m.
Presented by the City of Chicago
To operate a successful business in Chicago you need to know what it takes to maintain compliance. Officials from several City departments will provide insight to operate safely, stay compliant, help prepare for inspections and highlight the do’s and don’ts of operating a business.4/7     Chicago’s New Disability Access Regulations
9:30 to 11:00 a.m.
Presented by the Chicago Commission on Human Relations
The Chicago Human Rights Ordinance requires that Chicago businesses ensure that their facilities, products and services are available to individuals with disabilities. On July 1, 2017, new disability rights regulations passed by the Chicago Commission on Human Relations goes into effect. These regulations specify what Chicago businesses must do in order to make their goods and services accessible to people with disabilities. Matthew Lango, Deputy Commissioner of the CCHR, will give an overview of these new regulations.4/12     Cómo Empezar un Negocio (How to Start a Business)
3:00 to 4:30 p.m.
Presentado por Quiroga College
Esta presentación cubrirá los pasos para abrir un negocio en Illinois. También cubrirá sabiduría empresarial, educación financiera, mercadeo y dinámica de equipos. En este taller proporcionaremos orientación en áreas claves del negocio, incluyendo relaciones con los clientes, organización y operaciones.4/14     Ten Practical Legal Tips for Small Business Success
9:30 – 11:00 a.m.
Presented by Lema Khorshid, Fuksa Khorshid, LLC
Running a small business takes a lot of work. Often, a handful of employees fill a variety of roles, meaning that everyone has to bring serious hard work, dedication, self-motivation, and multitasking skills to the table. Amid all this, it can be easy to forget about the legal aspects of running a business. However, attending to these matters sooner rather than later is likely to save you time, stress, and expense in the long run. Join us in this workshop to learn our top 10 legal tips for small business success.4/19     Lowering Credit Card Processing Costs for Your Business
3:00 to 4:30 p.m.
Presented by Jonathan Simon, Horizon Payments LLC
Would you like to learn how to lower an important but often overlooked cost in your business? Unfortunately, the majority of business owners do not understand what they are paying for or why when they get their credit card processing statement. This workshop is designed to introduce you to the basics of credit card processing: industry and pricing structures, interchange, line item charges, contracts, regulations, and how you can make simple changes to save your business money. Current business owners are encouraged to bring a processing statement so they can do their own analysis while new entrepreneurs will learn what to look for in a processor and equipment. Never be caught off guard by a sales call again!
4/21     Small Business Resources to Help Your Business Succeed
9:30 to 11:00 a.m.
Presented by Donald Pellico, Business Opportunity Specialist with the Small Business Administration (SBA)
Come learn about programs, services, and partners to help you start and grow your business. Working with SBA resource partners in Illinois, can help you start, grow and achieve business success.* 4/26     Business Licensing 101
3:00 – 4:30 p.m.
Presented by The City of Chicago Department of Business Affairs & Consumer Protection (BACP)
Attendees will learn the 3 steps to obtain a business license, and free business resources to start or expand their business.* 4/28     Accounting in Quickbooks
9:30 to 11:00 a.m.
Presented by Trak Patel, CPA, PCIP from ARCC Consulting Corp
Learn how to keep your financial recordkeeping books using QuickBooks. We will identify the differences of QuickBooks Online vs. QuickBooks Desktop and list the important features and benefits.*Money Smart Week is April 22- 29, and the Wednesday, April 26th and Friday, April 28th workshops are a part of this public awareness campaign. Additional events can be found at www.moneysmartweek.org
Click here to view full monthly calendar. All workshops are free and are located at the City of Chicago Department of Business Affairs & Consumer Protection – City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle St., Chicago, Room 805.
Incentive to Complete the Small Business Start-Up Certificate Program

The City of Chicago’s Small Business Center (SBC) has partnered with The PrivateBank to make entrepreneurs who complete the city’s Business Start-Up Certificate Program eligible to apply for low-interest and no-fee loans through the bank’s Entrepreneurial Loan Program.

Program participants who complete the curriculum will now qualify to apply for The PrivateBank Entrepreneurial Loan. This low-interest, no-fee loan can range from $1,000 to a maximum of $10,000 for new businesses and $25,000 for businesses with one-year of filed tax returns. All financing decisions are made by the bank.

For more information go business workshops email BACPoutreach@CityofChicago.org or call 312.744.2086.
The PrivateBank Entrepreneur Loan Program With Application Requirements
The PrivateBank Entrepreneur Loan Program With Application Requirements
5/4 Small Business Center on the Road Expo
The Small Business Center on the Road Expo will be hosting an expo in the evening for the first time.  The expo will be at 1871 at theMart (Merchandise Mart) on Thursday, May 4th from 5:00 – 9:00 p.m.  The expo is free and open to the public.
Expo details:
  • 1871 is located in theMart (Merchandise Mart) – 222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza, 12th Floor
  • Great Keynote Speaker
  • FREE assistance from business consultants to begin the licensing process
  • Resources on Procurement, Financial, Insurance, Consumer information
  • Financial Advisers on hand to answer questions
  • Perfect your Elevator Pitch
  • Mini makeovers and Hair by Blown by Bocaj
  • FREE Headshot by a professional photographer to be used for your marketing/promotional materials
  • FREE Tax Clinic: One-on-One counseling sessions provided by Center for Economic Progress (CEP)
  • FREE Law Clinic: Legal advice and support provided by The Law Project
  • FREE Networking Hour: Connect and exchange ideas with likeminded entrepreneurs provided by Chicago’s Office of the City Treasurer from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
  • Over 40 Exhibitors
  • 2 Free Workshops (12:00 – 1:00 p.m.) 
  • And much more!

Go to Small Business Center on the Road Expo for more information or to register.

Scammers are not “Friends” to Small Business Owners

Posted by Admin On March - 23 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Scammers try to contact you in many ways. They call, email, put ads online, send messages on social media and more. If you own a small business, they’re trying to contact you too.  Lately we’ve been hearing about scams through Facebook messages directed to small business owners.

People have reported receiving messages on Facebook telling them that they’re eligible for ― or that they’ve won ― a business grant. If you get a message like this, do not respond. This is a scam. The government won’t contact you on social media to offer you money.

Some people responded to the messages because they thought they were from a “friend.” Know this: scammers can spoof social media messages to make them look like they’re coming from a friend. Some fake messages directed people to send a text to “confirm” their “business grant.” Don’t do it. The scammer is only trying to get your cell phone number to keep trying to get your money.

Before you respond to a message on social media about a small business grant, stop and consider:

  • The government won’t contact you through social media to offer you money.
  • Real government grants don’t require that you pay first. Stay away from any deal that makes you pay to get your “business grant.”
  • If someone tells you they need your passwords to give you a “business grant,” they’re just trying to hack into your accounts to steal your money or impersonate you and scam others.
  • If the only way to communicate with the person offering you a “business grant” is through social media or text, that is a red flag for a scam.

Find out more about government grant scams and imposter scams and report them to the FTC if you see one.

Ad Company Helping Black Newspapers Survive and Thrive

Posted by Admin On March - 21 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS
Admodx on a mission to help black newspapers survive and thrive

 New advertising media company gives Black Newspapers their own vehicle to make money online with ads that look better… do more… and cost less for community businesses. 

Roderick Harris, founder of AdmodX

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) – Launched in February, AdModX (www.admodx.com) can be an x-factor for Black Newspapers. It lets them sell and show ads unlike any they’ve sold before splashy little info-clips available on Black News sites and shared across social media. Black Newspapers co-opt AdModX to generate more revenue online.

“AdModX was built with three objectives,” explained President and CEO Roderick Harris, “create cutting-edge solutions exclusively for Black Newspapers, develop a model that actually makes the papers money, and keep out-of-pocket costs for the papers at $0.” Put simply, “Black Newspapers can offer their own unique brand of advertising without the worry of incurring any costs.”

AdModX benefits both Black Newspapers and the businesses in their community. Black Newspapers get a versatile advertising gateway where the community comes to see, share, and buy ads previously unavailable. Meanwhile, community businesses enjoy advertising that’s just better. Ads look better, incorporating attention-grabbing action and movement; they perform better, maximizing reach and exposure via social media sharing; and they sell better, costing less than conventional ads but with way more functional value. The ads are all about driving online traffic… to community business sites through built-in links, and to hosting Black News sites through their clickable logo on every ad they sell.

Unlike most other online ads, AdModX ads are not sold on CPM (cost per thousand) or CPC (cost per click) based rates. Instead, community businesses buy ads for a flat fee through the setup AdModX provides Black Newspapers. The actual ad buy is transacted through AdModX’s e-commerce provider. A flat fee works better for all involved; community businesses know exactly how much they’ll pay for ads, and papers can better project potential gains.

Black Newspapers get set up, free of charge, with their own Ad Display Page and Ad Buy Page. Papers connect both pages to their site with a simple link. Once connected, papers pay a monthly fee, but only during months they sell ads. That way, there’s no out-of-pocket cost since a portion of just one ad sell covers the month’s entire fee. Buying ads takes only a few minutes without any special knowledge or skills whatsoever. Besides, AdModX walks community businesses through the whole transaction.

Ads run for 30 days, starting the 1st of each month, providing exposure for three specific ad-buyer profiles; 1) people promoting themselves and their business, 2) those promoting a house thats for sale, and 3) anyone promoting an upcoming event. All of them exploit the inherent ease ads can be shared across social media for maximum exposure; far beyond the Black News sites they start off on.

Harris added: “In our community, Black Newspapers have a pivotal voice in bringing truth to power… and we must embrace a shared responsibility in making sure “that voice” continues being heard.”

AdModX envisions becoming a part of every major Black Newspaper by the end of this year. Once papers understand that cost-free is real, and community businesses see that ads can do so much more for less; demand for AdModX will grow and Black News will have its x-factor.
About AdModX
Based in Columbus, OH, AdModX is a forward-looking advertising media company for Black Newspapers; started by Roderick Harris, a 20+ year newspaper professional and internet entrepreneur. The company offers a new brand of advertising that changes the game for Black Newspapers. For more details, visit www.admodx.com


Photo Caption: Roderick Harris, President and CEO of AdModX



Black Chamber of Commerce Aims to Increase Access to Capital for Dallas’s Minority Businesses

Posted by Admin On March - 21 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS
ATLANTA – On Friday, April 7, the U.S. Black Chambers Community Economic Development Corporation (USBC CEDC) in partnership with the Texas Association of African American Chambers of Commerce will hold a free workshop for minority entrepreneurs on business lending options, credit advice, and referrals to credit service providers.

The workshop will be held at the Paul Quinn College, located at 3837 Simpson Stuart Road, in Dallas, Texas. Registration opens at 9:30am and the panel discussions start at 10:00am. Credit counseling and business speed networking will also be available until 2:00pm. Lunch will be provided for attendees.

The Atlanta workshop is the first in a series of 10 workshops led by the USBC CEDC which provides on-going training and development from top lending and credit experts in the field. Participants will learn how to effectively fund and expand their entrepreneurial ventures, and become a part of a network of the nation’s most established entrepreneurs. Presenters include representatives from the National Foundation of Credit Counseling, BB&T, People Fund, Lift Fund, the Minority Business Development Agency, and SCORE.

“There are 2.6 million black owned businesses and their number one concern is access to capital,” said Ron Busby, Sr., President and CEO of the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. “Since 2009, the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. has led the way to ensure that our small businesses are in the best position possible to succeed. Through the Capital Pathways program, we are helping Atlanta’s small businesses explore alternative funding options and receive one-on-one credit counseling, which means a stronger economy and more productive communities.”

The Capital Pathways program is targeted towards diverse business owners who have been in business for at least one year, and have generated at least $100,000 in revenue. The program infuses local partnerships and outreach, highlights home-grown founders and CEOs, and promotes inter-generational connections for collective economic growth and empowerment.

About Capital Pathways:


The Capital Pathways program is a series of 10 workshops across the nation funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency’s Broad Agency Announcement, and managed by the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. Community Economic Development Corporation. The USBC CEDC designs, develops and delivers financial education and business improvement programs to underserved communities nationwide. For more information on the Capital Pathways program, please visit www.capitalpathways.com.

Unleash Launch Conference Kicks-Off in Chicago – Launching 1,000 Black Businesses!

Posted by Admin On March - 10 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

The 10-city tour features a business competition offering $15,000 in start-up capital 

Robert Johnson, Managing Partner, The Solomon Group

CHICAGO, IL (BlackNews.com) — Unleash Launch 2017 kicks-off in Chicago with a powerful two-day conference to help Black professionals unleash their dreams and launch their businesses. The Lead Well Institute, PICO National Network, and the Solomon Group joined forces to create Unleash Launch; a 10-city tour to help build 1,000 businesses that will generate an estimated $5 million in new revenue in the cities of Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland and Memphis with more cities to be announced.

The 2-day conference commences on March 21 23, 2017, at the beautiful 19 East Event Gallery. Attendees will have access to world-class speakers, thought leaders and investors who represent a variety of professional sectors from retail to franchising, social enterprises and tech. Conference attendees will enjoy panel discussions, peer-to-peer training, and pragmatic real world insights designed to jumpstart and sustain their ventures. Unleash Launch will also feature, Entre-SLAM, a business story-telling competition where 10 cutting-edge tech and social companies will compete for up to $15,000 in start-up capital in each city.

Our goal is to Unleash the talent in 1,000 individuals who are yearning for a positive change in their lives and to Launch the dreams of 1,000 entrepreneurs who are seeking to impact culture through enterprise, said Robert Johnson, Managing Partner of the Solomon Group. For more information on Unleash Launch 2017 and the Entre-SLAM business competition, please visit www.unleash2017.com.
About the Solomon Group
The Solomon Group, LLC, provides business management, consulting, coaching and strategy development to emerging and existing companies. We also assist companies grow through franchising or help existing franchisors grow or operate more profitably in new or underserved markets. For more information, visit www.solomongroupint.com.
About the LEADWell Institute
The LEADWell Institute exists to unleash the talent within individuals and organizations and to empower others to positively transform society. The purpose of Lead Well Institute is to teach individuals and leaders to not only lead, but to lead well. Leading is an action, and leadership must be governed by values that seek a positive impact. For more information, visit www.leadwellinstitute.com.
About the PICO National Network
PICO is a national network of faith-based community organizations working to create innovative solutions to problems facing urban, suburban and rural communities. PICO helps ordinary people in public life; build a strong legacy of leadership in thousands of local communities across America. For more information, visit www.piconetwork.org.


Photo: Robert Johnson, Managing Partner, The Solomon Group



Black Business Group, Black Banks Making Black History With Economic Justice

Posted by Admin On February - 15 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

 By Hazel Trice Edney


Ron Busby, U. S. Black Chambers Inc.; Michael Grant, National Bankers Association; Alden McDonald Jr., Liberty Bank

(TriceEdneyWire.com) – It is the number one reason that Black-owned businesses fail: Simply put – not enough money and not enough places to get it.

That’s why as America commemorates Black History Month, the US Black Chamber Inc. (USBC), an association of more than 122 Black chambers and 265,000 business owners, is escalating publicity on its partnership with historic, Black-owned Liberty Bank. Both entities are determined to break economic barriers that have historically oppressed Black people.

“Our history is full of trailblazers and pioneers that fought to build our community from the ground up. We owe it to them to sustain our community,” says Ron Busby, USBC president/CEO.

“The top three concerns facing Black entrepreneurs are access to capital, access to capital, and access to capital,” Busby says. “As the voice of Black business owners, our focus during Black History Month is to highlight the importance of economic sustainability in the Black community and the dire lack of funding facing Black businesses.”

The USBC has launched what it calls a “buy-Black, bank-Black initiative” as a solution to spur economic growth in the Black community.

“Bank-Black is the single most powerful economic movement currently taking place in Black America,” Busby says. “Now is the time to utilize our Black banks as more than a place to hold our money, but as a resource for securing capital.”

As a part of this initiative, a USBC Bank-Black Credit Card is being offered in partnership with New Orleans-based Liberty Bank, a historic institution and one of the leading banks of the National Bankers Association (NBA).

“Through our relationship with Liberty Bank, we can now provide access of up to $10,000 with an unsecured line of credit at an annual percentage rate of 9.96 percent and with a credit score as low as 570. We think this is game-changing in that it now provides the needed resources for African-Americans to be able to move our communities to sustainability,” Busby says.

Black businesses have long suffered oppressive redlining by major national banks. Even the Small Business Administration has barely reached 3 percent in its loans to Black-owned businesses. The U.S. Census Bureau reported in 2014 that more than half of Black business owners do not apply for business loans when they need it because of fear of being turned down. According to a report by NewsOne Now, their “fear is justified” as “only 47 percent of Black business owners get the full amount they requested versus 76 percent of Whites.”

The Wall Street Journal reported last year that national banks tilting toward major mortgages “means fewer loans for Blacks, Hispanics.” This leaves Black-owned community banks to do what they have historically done – serve the underserved.

Despite the proven historic wrongs of government and corporate discrimination, NBA President Michael Grant says Black business owners must now find ways to rescue themselves.

“When it comes to the burden of proof of who is ultimately responsible for the economic survival of the Black community in America, I’m arguing that the burden of proof has shifted to the Black community itself,” Grant says. “It does not in any way remove the responsibility of government to be fair. It doesn’t remove the responsibility of corporate America to be fair and to treat Black consumers and their businesses with equity. But the burden of proof of who is ultimately going to save the Black community, I am arguing that this must be the Black community.”

Grant continues, “Even if it means our advocacy, supporting our own businesses, going to our leadership asking, ‘What are your plans for the economic survival of Black people in this country?’ the burden of proof has shifted to us. And this credit card, in no small way, says that we are accepting the burden of proof. We’re saying, ‘Okay, if our businesses are having a difficult time in majority banks getting access to credit, what can the Black banks do about it? How can we accept that burden? How can we step up and revive access to credit?’ That’s what this has done.”

Despite negative stereotypes, Grant points to the education and professionalism of African-Americans in business and in banking as what enables them to create their own economic strategies for survival.

For example, Liberty Bank President Alden J. McDonald, Jr., is the longest tenured African-American financial executive in the country. His nearly 45 years of experience in the banking industry was first established with his presidency of Liberty, which started with the bank’s founding in 1972. The bank’s website credits his “strategic vision and hard work” for the success of the bank. Assets have grown from $2 million in 1972 to more than $600 million currently.

“Our relationship and our partnership with the US Black Chamber is a partnership that will make certain that available credit is based on a level playing field,” says McDonald. “And one of the reasons why we feel the relationship with Liberty Bank is important is because Liberty Bank is very sensitive to the credit challenges of the community. And therefore, our underwriting standards are taken into consideration for the small business person.”

Grant stressed that Black-owned banks can strengthen the economy of the Black community while operating within a stringent regulatory environment.

“Our banks, like any bank, have to adhere to the regulators. We can’t get around that. What we can do is when you come to our banks, we can talk with you, we can take a little extra time with you. We can tell you where the flaws are in your business plan, we can tell you that if you don’t qualify for credit, then here are the things that you can do so that you can become credit worthy. But, the bottom line is that the burden of proof has shifted to the Black community and its leaders and its organizations,” he said.

Ultimately, money in Black-owned banks is a win for everyone, Busby concludes.

“We want African-Americans to have money in Black banks because we feel that Black banks historically provided the resources in Black communities. But, we’re taking it a step further, understanding that banks truly make the largest profits by providing loans and receiving fees,” he says.

“And so we feel like this is a win, win, win. It’s a win for the Black bank, which has additional capital to lend. It’s a win for the individuals because they can now get capital at an affordable rate. And it’s a win for the community because the banks can now make the loans that homeowners and business owners need. The USBC takes great pride in commemorating Black History Month with a tribute that honors Black history and anticipates an even greater Black future.”

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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