20
November , 2017
Monday

Presents Proclamation to Reverend Evans CHICAGO, IL – Governor Pat Quinn attended Reverend Dr. Clay ...
SoapBox Rants By Pamela Bratcher-McMillan President, Chair & CEO, of PETAL et al. Remember the slide projector? I ...
Program offers necessary tools to earn a living wage and become more independent SPRINGFIELD, ...
SPRINGFIELD, IL – In an effort to close current tax loopholes and provide monetary relief ...
(Letter to Editor)   Chicago, IL – Organizers with the Coalition Against the NATO/G8 War & Poverty ...
Photo: Junior members of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) interview U.S. Environmental Protection ...
City Routinely Violates the Law By Destroying Tapes After Only 30 Days, Jeopardizing Defendants’ Ability ...
Kemper Declares ‘Voluntary’ Review Despite Opposition to Law that Now Requires its Compliance   SPRINGFIELD, IL – ...
Delegates from all unions and all areas of the state Illinois AFL-CIO met recently to endorse ...
Letters to Editors Statement from Moratorium On Deportations Campaign in response to the current ...

Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

Baltimore, Black Business Workshop – “Be Unstoppable”

Posted by Admin On January - 18 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS
Be unstoppable in 2017 – “Marketing and Branding Your Business to Success” workshop for black entrepreneurs

Be Unstoppable Workshop

Baltimore, MD (BlackNews.com) — African American entrepreneurs and business owners are invited to join Anary Bellamy, Your Simple Mommie Marketer and Leroy Mckenzie Jr., the Authorpreneur Consultant for a one-day workshop that is going to move their business to the next level.

This results-driven workshop teach attendees:

* How to build a solid business foundation
* How to establish a 12 month marketing plan
* How to publish a book in 6 months
* How to identify your target market
* How to create a sales funnel
* How to implement the elements of customer service… and much more!

This workshop will take place on Saturday, January 28, 2017 from 9am to 4pm at the Maryland Non-Profits Building located at 1500 Union Ave. Baltimore, Maryland 21211. This workshop experience will offer entrepreneurs, aspiring entrepreneurs, authors and aspiring Authors the opportunity to begin 2017 by putting in place their marketing plan and branding strategy to become UNSTOPPABLE as well as connect with others who are interested in taking their businesses to the next level or starting their entrepreneur journey.

Attendees will have the opportunity to put together their marketing and branding plans that will allow them to immediately implement them into their business and gain other information, knowledge and resources that will assist them to take their brand to another level.

Co-sponsors of this event include: Life Giving Word Ministries and BlackPR.com

For more details and updates about the workshop, visit www.beunstoppable.info or contact Leroy Mckenzie Jr. at 443-762-2324 or jnfenterprises@yahoo.com; or contact Anary Bellamy at 704-500-8691 or info@beunstoppable.info

 

Photo Captions: Workshop facilitators Leroy Mckenzie Jr. (left) and Anary Bellamy (right)

 

 

Three Often-Overlooked Tax Tips for African Americans for the 2017 Tax Season

Posted by Admin On December - 31 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

By Randy Hughes

Founder of Counting Pennies

African American couple tax planning

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) – Sadly, many African Americans don’t think about taxes until the days and weeks leading up to April 15. However, there are many things you can do now to help our results then be more appealing.

  1. Make Wise Business Purchases
    If you are business owner, think about purchases that you can make between now and year end. If possible, try making purchases that you were planning to make in January in December. Consider pre-paying your cell phone or internet bill. But careful, though, about large purchases such as heavy equipment, as these may need to be depreciated rather than capitalized, greatly minimizing the tax impact you might be expecting from such a large purchase.

 

  1. Maximize Your Heath Savings Accounts (HSA)
    With the political climate and uncertainly on the continuation of Obamacare, Health Savings Accounts (HSA), along with High Deductible Health Plans (HDHP), may see increased popularity. If you already have a HSA and have not yet maximized your contribution for the year, now would be a great time to do so. Contributions and interest earned are tax free and the maximum contribution amount for 2016 is $3,350 for individuals and $6,750 for families. If you are over 55 years of age, you get an additional $1,000 in catch up contributions which will be tax free as well.

 

  1. Manage Tax Withholdings/Exemptions
    Employees that changed jobs or started a new job this year should review their tax withholdings/exemptions claimed on their new hire paperwork (Form W-4). Claiming too many exemptions could result in an unexpected or large tax liability at tax time. Claiming too few exemptions could result in giving the government more money than necessary, which could result in a cash flow problem for you during the year. Ask you HR or payroll department to review your withholdings and ask your accountant or tax adviser to review them for you so that if adjustments are needed, you can catch them at the beginning of the new year to avoid potential problems during next year’s tax season.

In addition to tax adjustments, some basic financial planning can go a long way in setting the stage for you (and your money) as you enter the new year.
Randy Hughes is the founder of Counting Pennies, a nationwide tax and accounting firm that specializes in tax preparation, bookkeeping and debt management. Contact him at (800) 234-1449 or randy.hughes@cpennies.com or visit www.cpennies.com.

 

Group Purchasing Organization Reaches Out to Minority-Owned Small Businesses

Posted by Admin On November - 15 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

Global MPG Group

Nationwide — The saying “there is strength in numbers, united we stand, divided we fall” may be the inspiration of Global_Mpg, a minority, veteran-owned (GPO) Group Purchasing Organization that is reaching out to minority small businesses to join its collective-buying group.

The Houston, Texas based business was founded in 2005 with the intent of becoming a buying group organization so that small businesses could leverage their indirect and direct purchasing spend as a group in order to get a lower pricing and improved terms and conditions.

Global_Mpg (Global Materials Purchasing Group) started with five companies with an eye on MRO industrial and office supplies, but quickly expanded into other sectors. Most of its current members customer base make the Fortune 500 or Fortune 1,000 lists.

They’ve chosen to bid for goods and services contracts in areas such as temporary staffing, pharmaceuticals, medical industrial, office supplies and logistics. Projects currently running include contracts for vendor-managed inventory, electrical, industrial, office supply and janitorial supplies.

“The most basic component is clearly that you’re thinking, ‘I can get this for less by participating in this aggregated model than I could on my own,’ but the value proposition goes well beyond that,” said company Managing Partner Bill Williamson.

Purchasing Group positive impact on the profits for each individual networked company

Did you know that a reduction in purchasing costs, for example of 5%, produces an increase in profits of more than 2% and that to obtain the same result, sales would need to increase by more than 20%…? This means that the savings generated by a centralization of purchasing in a network of businesses, will increase profits in each individual network company without having to increase sales. For full details, Global_Mpg has a news center page on its website at www.globalmpg.com

There’s a one-time guaranteed refundable administrative set up fee to join Global_Mpg (Global Materials Purchasing Group) but the company’s primary source of revenue are payments from the awarded suppliers.

Small businesses that find the administrative fee reasonable and are interested in contracts that will leverage their purchasing power. Includes billion-dollar firms and get pricing discounts no matter their size or purchasing budget.

Global_Mpg member Darts Packaging Inc. a company based in Pine Bluff , Arkansas, a contract packaging and private label co-packer, said the savings on office products alone would justify its membership, but it has found savings elsewhere.

The collective buying power will have more impact for minority owned and smaller businesses because they have less buying power alone. Contracts are negotiated in high volumes but you can order from them in the volume that suits your company.

 

Powerful Networking Event to Kick-Off New Black Chamber of Commerce in Virginia

Posted by Admin On November - 1 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

 Maggie Anderson, author Our Black Year, will lead an address to empower struggling communities 

Maggie Anderson, author of Our Black Year

Norfolk, VA (BlackNews.com) — On Black Friday, November 25th, a newly minted Black Chamber of Commerce named Black BRAND will ignite a powerful movement within Hampton Roads to honor local community leaders and successful black business owners at the Wyndham Garden Hotel in downtown Norfolk at 6 p.m.The event, The Black Diamond Affair, will serve as the official launch of the organization to the public and is an all-black, semi-formal affair.

Black BRAND is a 501(c)(3) organization with the mission to promote group economics through professional development and community empowerment.

The Black Diamond Affair will welcome keynote speaker Maggie Anderson, author of Our Black Year and founder of the Empowerment Experiment, to lead a self-help economics address that will teach black business owners, consumers and community leaders how to empower struggling communities.

This highly anticipated presentation and organization will stimulate the black economic revolution and connect like-minded community leaders within a lavish environment while enjoying an evening of live music, food and fellowship.

Our mission is to continue in the tradition of prior Black leaders, both locally and nationally, said Blair Durham, co-founder and co-president of Black Brand. We gratefully accept the baton they have passed, we are energized to work and committed to the relentless pursuit of a shared vision.

Tickets for The Black Diamond Affair are now available along with sponsorship opportunities. For more information and to purchase a ticket, visit www.BlackBrand.biz or call 757-541-2680.
About Black BRAND
Black BRAND is a 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to promote group economics through professional development and community empowerment. Black BRAND is an affiliate of the National Black Chamber of Commerce and U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. All donations are tax-deductible. For more details, send correspondence to Black BRAND, P.O. Box 385, Norfolk, VA 23501 or visit www.BlackBrand.biz

 

Photo Caption: Maggie Anderson, author of “Our Black Year”

 

 

City of Chicago Free Business Workshops During November

Posted by Admin On November - 1 - 2016 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.

November 2016 Workshop Calendar
11/2     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.11/4     Credit and You: The Basics of Credit And The Important Role It Plays In Your Life
9:30 to 11:00 a.m.
Presented by Eileen Kelly from The Private Bank
What is credit? Why is credit important? What is a credit score? Attend this workshop for the answers to these questions. You will walk away knowing the implications of good and bad credit scores and ways to build and repair your credit history. Walk away knowing about SMART banking, business checking options and how your credit can affect your business.11/9      What You Need to Know Before You Press GO! How to Open a Day Care
3:00 to 4:30 p.m.
Presented by the Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC)
In this workshop you will learn the step by step guide on launching a child care business. It will teach you how to avoid common mistakes and about the importance of developing a business plan, determining your start- up budget and financing options.11/11     NO WORKSHOP DUE TO VETERAN’S DAY HOLIDAY11/16     Building a Trusted Business Brand on Linkedin
3:00 to 4:30 p.m.
Presented by Tajuana Ross, The LinkedIn Professor & Blue Ocean Logic Group Associate
LinkedIn is a major brand and relationship building platform for businesses large and small. Businesses that are successful at leveraging the LinkedIn platform increase their access to greater opportunities. They are businesses that understand the benefits of effective branding when coupled with the skills of business networking. This session will identify how LinkedIn businesses master this professional networking platform to build brands that resonate within and across their target audiences, connecting them to the prospects, clientele, investors and partners they want and need.

11/18     Art of the Social Sale
9:30 to 11:00 a.m.
Presented by Business Bragger, Inc.
Selling on social media requires a unique technique and strategy. Learn how to craft the right message without being “in-your-face’ salesy, stay relevant, beat the competition and build your brand across multiple social media platforms with strategies that are built for any company online. We will also teach the do’s and don’t’s on each platform when it comes to directly selling, so your accounts don’t get “unapproved” by the social media channel.

11/23     NO WORKSHOP DUE TO THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY 11/25     NO WORKSHOP DUE TO THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY

11/30     Social Media Workplace Policies, the Law & Litigation
3:00 to 4:30 p.m.
Presented by Charles Krugel, a Management Side Labor, Employment and Human Resources Attorney
Topics to be discussed include: what courts and government regulators are saying about workplace social media policies, employee content & account ownership (who owns what); how can a business protect its social media image; what if an employee discusses something illegal or inappropriate; what businesses should do to control how & who uses its social media & related hardware or equipment; should we have a social media policy? What should it say? ; what are the areas of liability for businesses and how to avoid or minimize liability.

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
10/29 Free Small Business Expo 

Illinois Awarded $850,000 to Support Small Business Exports

Posted by Admin On October - 31 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

SPRINGFIELD, ILThe Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity’s Office of Trade and Investment has received $850,000 in federal funds to support export growth among Illinois small businesses. The funding was awarded through the Small Business Administration’s competitive State Trade Expansion Program (STEP).

“In our increasingly global economy, companies looking to grow need to look beyond domestic markets,” Department of Commerce Acting Director Sean McCarthy said. “Illinois companies reported exports of more than $63.4 billion in 2015. STEP will allow the Illinois Department of Commerce to continue to help Illinois companies explore new markets and grow their businesses through our State Trade and Export Promotion program.”

Illinois’ State Trade and Export Promotion (ISTEP) program provides small businesses with financial and technical assistance to increase their exports. Eligible companies may participate in group or individual trade and sales missions, and receive training and support in international marketing, product compliance and general export education.  Through ISTEP, Illinois companies have the opportunity to attend international trade shows across the globe.

“Our STEP program, as well as SBA’s export loans and International Trade Centers, ensure local resources are available to help small businesses tap into the global marketplace,” SBA Illinois District Director Robert “Bo” Steiner said. “By funding Illinois and its export development partners, the SBA is delivering the tools and resources necessary for small businesses in our state to build relationships and launch their services and products abroad.”

STEP helps businesses increase their market reach and international sales, generating significant returns for U.S. companies. STEP recipients on average generate $22 in U.S. small business export sales for every $1 of STEP investment. In total, Illinois has received nearly $3.9 million in STEP funding since FY 2011.

Exports represent a significant opportunity for Illinois businesses. Small and medium-sized companies account for 98 percent of U.S. exporters, however less than one percent of U.S. companies currently export. Illinois is the largest exporting state in the Midwest, and the fifth largest exporting state in the country.

Microsoft Recruiting DC Area Black Tech Professionals

Posted by Admin On October - 14 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS
The hiring demand for black tech professionals continues – next up, the Washington, DC Area!

Special VIP Hiring Event for Black Sales Executives and IT Professionals in D.C., Maryland and Northern Virgnia 

Will Moss, founder of HBCU Connect, networking with attendees to his company's event
Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — HBCU Connect has hosted several events (in Dallas, Charlotte, and the San Francisco Bay Area) this year to help big tech companies recruit African American talent, and all of the events have been very successful. In fact, many attendees have even been hired on the spot to work for companies like Symantec and Microsoft.

On October 25th, in partnership with Microsofts Sales Business division, HBCU Connect is offering Black technical professionals in the D.C. Maryland, and Virginia area, the opportunity to meet with representatives from Microsoft, to learn more about career opportunities, network with their peers, as well as open up one-on-one discussions with Microsoft team members that could lead to a new career for attendees for high paying tech careers!

Microsoft is looking for African Americans with experience in the following areas to register for the event:

* Public Sector & Enterprise Sales Professionals
* Software Sales & Solutions Engineers
* Windows Operating Systems Experts
* Cloud Solutions Experts
* IT Consultants
* Cyber Security and Mobile Technology Professionals

Event Details:

* WHEN: Tuesday, October 25th, from 5pm to 8pm
* WHERE: Reston, Virginia Venue Information to Follow with Confirmed Invitation
* REGISTER ONLINE: www.hbcuconnect.com/microsoft/dc.cgi?src=bn

The CEO and founder of HBCU Connect, Will Moss, will also be attending the event with Microsofts recruitment team and hiring managers. We expect to see some really high caliber professionals in attendance that will be looking to land interviews with Microsoft leadership, as well as learn more about what life at Microsoft is like for an African American employee, said Moss. What is really exciting about this particular event is that we are reaching out to professionals with a background in sales and technology, which is a first for us and our partnership with Microsoft!

Those interested in attending should register immediately as there is limited space on the guest list which is already 75% full. Once attendance is confirmed, the exact location of the event will be shared as well as details on parking and an agenda for the evening.

For more information, details, and how to register, please visit:
www.hbcuconnect.com/microsoft/dc.cgi?src=bn

Pictures of past events:
https://onedrive.live.com/?id=239E2BC7E88D204A%21187&cid=239E2BC7E88D204A
About HBCU Connect
Founded in 1999, HBCU Connect (www.hbcuconnect.com) is the first and largest media outlet targeted towards the Historically Black College and University (HBCU) community. Boasting over 1.5 million registered members and encompassing a complete web portal, magazine, recruiting engine, social networking site, forums, blogs, news feeds and shopping, HBCUConnect.com serves the needs of HBCU aspirants, students, alumni, faculty and staff by providing a single destination and launching point for the entire diaspora.

Photo Caption: Will Moss (center), founder of HBCU Connect, networking with attendees to his company’s event

 

 

City of Chicago Offers Free Business Workshops

Posted by Admin On September - 26 - 2016 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.

 
October 2016 Workshop Calendar
10/5 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.10/7  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.10/12  Business Licensing 101
3:00 to 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.10/14  How to Open a Concession at O’Hare or Midway Airport

9:30 to 11:00 a.m.

Presented by Chicago Department of Aviation – Concessions Department

Are you interested in operating a restaurant or shop at O’Hare or Midway International Airports, but don’t know where to begin? Come and learn about the Request for Proposals (RFP) process, how to operate a business at the airports, and a summary of the Airport Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) program.

10/19  Compelling Communications – Master your Message
3:00 to 4:30 p.m.
Presented by Mark DiGiacoma, Crossroads Leadership Development, LLC
There is a positive correlation between business success and your ability to clearly communicate your ideas. Learn how to create messages with impact, whether you’re talking with one person or an auditorium. This hands on approach begins with learning how the brain processes information. By the end, each attendee will have a framework to quickly build a captivating, clear and compelling message for your audience.

10/21  What Do I Blog About?
9:30 to 11:00 a.m.
Presented by Business Bragger, Inc.
We’ve all heard about the blogging craze that took the internet by storm!  Is your company blogging?  Find out why you should be and how it can increase your SEO rankings as well as your interaction on social media platforms.  If you’ve got writers block, this interactive workshop will help you get past what to say and teach you how to say it online.  Learn the SEO tactics to incorporate in your company blogs as well as how to create topics that will make a lasting impression.

10/26  Leadership and Happiness
3:00 to 4:30 p.m.
Presented by J.B. Brocato
What is the key component of effective leadership?  Simple: Happiness.  Join J.B. Brocato, author of HAPPY IS COOL: HOW TO IGNITE THE TRUE HAPPINESS IN YOU, will present a fun, interactive workshop to provide tools to both company leaders and employees to increase personal and workplace happiness.  Based on J.B.’s H.O.I.S.T. model, attendees will learn a framework for happiness, practice optimism, apply happiness interventions, explore the concept of signature strengths, and discuss thoughts and behaviors that maximize happiness.

10/28 An Important Cash Flow Conversation – Understanding Working Capital
9:30 to 11:00 a.m.
Presented by Craig Feldman, Managing Partner – Bloom Lending
Let’s have a critical conversation about the importance of cash flow, learn the key indicators of why working capital is crucial in all areas of your business and discuss when short term debt is the best decision for you. Attending this workshop will provide you with the confidence to make the important decisions to manage your cash flow and to secure the best financing needed to achieve your goals.

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
10/29 Free Small Business Expo 

Supporting Black Entrepreneurs Must Be a National Priority

Posted by Admin On September - 26 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

By Connie Evans
TV Producer Nely Gal and Super Model Beverly Johnson 

Washington, DC (BlackNews.com) — After Noemi Prado had devoted 29 years to working for Southwest Moulding in Grand Prairie, TX, the owners decided to close the business. But Ms. Prado gathered her retirement savings and other financing to purchase the company, a transaction that has sustained and created jobs for 40 people in her community.

A key aspect of the financing was a $825,000 loan that she received from the Valley Economic Development Corporations (VEDC), a non-profit organization that provides affordable business assistance services, direct financial assistance, and entrepreneurial training to minority businesses and entrepreneurs. If it wasn’t for VEDC, it wouldn’t have happened, Ms. Prado said, noting that it was difficult to obtain traditional bank financing.

Research by the Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO) shows that a large percentage of people want to be like Ms. Prado and run their own businesses. At the same time, however, many would-be entrepreneurs lack the access to mentors, capital and support networks that could help them get up and running.

That’s the problem our nation faces.

Small businesses are actually creating a higher percentage of new jobs than big companies, but entrepreneurs and small business owners struggle to get the access to capital and the knowledge, known as trusted guidance in the microbusiness industry, that they need to start or sustain their businesses. The reality is that significant barriers limit opportunities for business owners of color. They face discrimination in the banking world, have fewer wealth assets, and often lack the technical skills, like financial management, to make their dreams and aspirations come true.

Yet, there are new developments that are slowly changing the landscape for minority entrepreneurs and small business owners.

Perhaps the most powerful is the changing demographics of the country, which corporate and government leaders are starting to better understand. The nation is moving towards a majority-minority status. Already, the majority of children born in the country are children of color. Thus, its clear that the nation must become more inclusive with business opportunities or the pockets of poverty across the country will just grow larger. And, smart corporate leaders recognize that the growing communities of color are where future growth and expansions of their businesses should concentrate for sustained growth.

To-be-sure, part of the answer lies with Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), which are getting more attention than ever before from both the public and private sectors. These mission-based organizations, which receive federal resources to invest in disadvantaged communities, are frequently where minority business owners turn when they need financing. But needless to say, the demand frequently outpaces their money supply.

One of the positives is the collaborations now taking place between major banking institutions and CDFIs and other organizations, such as VEDC.

For instance, this year JPMorgan Chase & Co. announced the Small Business Forward initiative, which will allocate $30 million over five years towards growing local, community-based small businesses. The program includes a combination of targeted lending to minority-owned businesses, new kinds of community development financing and technical assistance for entrepreneurs. Through this work, JPMorgan Chase is helping minority- and community-based small-business owners become engines of job growth and economic vitality in the neighborhoods they serve.

At a recent event in Washington, DC that AEO co-sponsored with JP Morgan Chase, Janis Bowdler, their Head of Community Development for Global Philanthropy, put the institutions thinking in perspective. As the economy recovers, much of the growth is often channeled toward reviving commercial corridors and downtowns in U.S. cities, she said. As a result, many disadvantaged neighborhoods, where low-income people live, are being left behind.

Working with JPMorgan Chase, VEDC has created a National African American Small Business Loan Fund that will boost economic opportunity for minority-owned businesses and help them serve low-income communities by providing them with greater access to capital, technical assistance and financial consulting. VEDC is a member AEO, which is a trade association for the microbusiness and microfinance industry.

A broad range of organizations are recognizing the power of inclusive entrepreneurism, which will help bring equity to communities and Main Streets across the nation. The National Coalition of 100 Black Women and New Economics for Women partnered with AEO and JPMorgan Chase to celebrate minority business owners at the event in Washington, DC during the annual meetings of the Black and Hispanic Caucuses. Speakers specifically noted that minority women often need assistance in starting and running businesses, but frequently are unaware of how to get that help.

Clearly, various partnerships and collaborations can help minorities overcome the barriers. Empowered mission-based community lenders are working with underserved entrepreneurs to help them build and sustain businesses that can fuel financial and social mobility, and create jobs that are boosting the economy — locally and nationally.

We must make supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses a national priority.

Connie Evans is president and CEO of Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO), the voice of microbusiness in the United States. For more details, viist www.microenterpriseworks.org

 

TV Producer Nely Gal and Super Model Beverly Johnson promote minority small businesses.


Photo Credit: Ashleigh A.M. Bing

 

Supporting Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses Must be a National Priority

Posted by Admin On September - 21 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

 
 

By Connie Evans

Americas Wire Writers Group

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. –   After Noemi Prado devoted 29 years to working for Southwest Moulding in Grand Prairie, TX, the owners decided to close the business. But Ms. Prado gathered her retirement savings and other financing to purchase the company, a transaction that has sustained and created jobs for 40 people in her community.

 

A key aspect of the financing was a $825,000 loan that she received from the Valley Economic Development Corporation’s (VEDC), a non-profit organization that provides affordable business assistance services, direct financial assistance, and entrepreneurial training to minority businesses and entrepreneurs.  “If it wasn’t for VEDC, it wouldn’t have happened,” Ms. Prado said, noting that it was difficult to obtain traditional bank financing.

 

Data collected by the Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO) shows that a large percentage of people want to be like Ms. Prado and run their own businesses.  At the same time, however, many would-be entrepreneurs lack the access to mentors, capital and support networks that could help them get up and running.

That’s the problem our nation faces.

 

Small businesses are actually creating a higher percentage of new jobs than big companies, but entrepreneurs and small business owners struggle to get the access to capital and the knowledge, known as ‘trusted guidance’ in the microbusiness industry, that they need to start or sustain their businesses. The reality is that significant barriers limit opportunities for business owners of color.  They face discrimination in the banking world, have fewer wealth assets, and often lack the technical skills to make their dreams and aspirations come true.

 

Yet, there have been new developments that are slowly changing the landscape for minority entrepreneurs and small business owners.

 

Perhaps the most powerful is the changing demographics of the country, which corporate and government leaders are starting to better understand.  The nation is moving towards a majority-minority status. Already, the majority of children born in the country are children of color.  Thus, it’s clear that the nation must become more inclusive with business opportunities or the pockets of poverty across the country will just grow larger.  And, smart corporate leaders recognize that the growing communities of color are where future growth and expansions of their businesses should concentrate for sustained growth.

 

Certainly, part of the answer lies with Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), which are getting more attention than ever before from both the public and private sectors. These mission-based organizations, which receive federal resources to invest in disadvantaged communities, are frequently where minority business owners turn when they need financing.  But needless to say, the demand frequently outpaces their money supply.

 

One of the positives is the collaborations now taking place between major banking institutions and CDFIs and other organizations, such as VEDC.

 

For instance, this year JPMorgan Chase & Co. announced a Small Business Forward initiative, which will allocate $30 million over five years towards growing local, community-based small businesses. The program includes a combination of targeted lending to minority-owned businesses, innovative community development financing and technical assistance for entrepreneurs.  Through this work, JPMorgan Chase is helping minority- and community-based small business owners become engines of job growth and economic vitality in the neighborhoods they serve.

 

At a recent event in Washington, DC that AEO co-sponsored with JP Morgan Chase, Janis Bowdler, their Head of Community Development for Global Philanthropy, put the institution’s thinking in perspective. “As the economy recovers, much of the growth is often channeled toward reviving commercial corridors and downtowns in U.S. cities,” she said. “As a result, many disadvantaged neighborhoods, where underserved people live, are being left behind.”

 

Working with JPMorgan Chase, VEDC has created a National African American Small Business Loan Fund that will boost economic opportunity for minority-owned businesses and help them serve low-wealth communities by providing them with greater access to capital, technical assistance and financial consulting.  VEDC is a member AEO, which is a trade association for the microbusiness industry.

 

A broad range of organizations are recognizing the power of “inclusive entrepreneurship,” which will help bring equity to communities and Main Streets across the nation.  The National Coalition of 100 Black Women and New Economics for Women partnered with AEO and JPMorgan Chase to celebrate minority business owners at the event in Washington, DC during the annual meetings of the Black and Hispanic Caucus Conventions.  Speakers specifically noted that minority women often need assistance in starting and running businesses, but frequently are unaware of how to get that help.

 

Clearly, various partnerships and collaborations can help minorities overcome the barriers. Empowered mission-based community lenders are working with underserved entrepreneurs to help them build and sustain businesses that can fuel financial and social mobility, and create jobs that are boosting the economy — locally and nationally.

 

We must make supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses a national priority.

Ms. Evans is president and CEO of Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO), the voice of microbusiness in the United States.

 

Photo Caption: TV Producer Nely Galán and Super Model Beverly Johnson promote minority small businesses. Photo Credit:  Ashleigh A.M. Bing

 

 

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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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