Shaheewa Jarrett Gelin
PHOTO COURTESY OF SJ GELIN
By SHAHEEWA JARRETT GELIN
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.With the advent of the Buy Black and Bank Black movements, we need a strong entity to push the Vend Black movement In addition, almost eight in Broward County! It is hard to believe that Broward County does not have a black chamber of commerce advocating for our businesses on the municipal, county, state, and federal levels.
We have important issues that we have to tackle in our community, as well as in the public and private sectors.
The truth is our businesses struggle to survive beyond the two-year mark, our nonprofits take in fewer donations, and our organizations have smaller budgets. The majority of our small businesses have one employee and are in the lower revenue generating industries.
With African Americans having over 1.3 trillion is spending power nationally, we should be thriving. Instead, we have a wealth gap, spend only two cents of every dollar with a black owned business, and our dollar circulates in our community for a paltry six hours.
years have passed since Broward County Government issued its report “The State of Minority- and Women- Owned Business Enterprise: Evidence from Broward County” on November 22, 2010. The study found both statistical and anecdotal evidence of business discrimination against minority and women owned businesses in the private sector of the Broward County market area.
Without an entity to promote, support, and advocate on behalf of our businesses, non-profits, professional organizations, and associations, we won’t make any collective progress. When we come together, we are strong, as demonstrated with past movements and the recent Bank Black movement. It is time to stop talking about doing something. It is time to act.
In August 2018, the newly minted Broward County Black Chamber of Commerce, will officially launch and welcome members. In order to add value and create opportunities for your business, the Chamber will focus on the following:
1) Access to Capital – facilitate access to credit, loans, and other financial instruments.
2) Advocate – lobby for laws and policies that promote small business growth and address the challenges faced by black business owners.
3) Capacity Building – aid and support the process of developing and strengthening the skills, abilities, and resources for black businesses to enable them to grow beyond a small business.
4) Community Service – facilitate and host events that will provide training, internships, and employment to our community, especially our youth.
5) Connect – provide access to business opportunities by connecting business owners with decision makers in the private and public sectors.
6) Educate – provide entrepreneurship and business management training.
7) Promote – actively encourage the use of member companies throughout the region and nation.
Although there is a vision and a set of priorities, we want to ensure that we will create a chamber that will meet your needs. Therefore, we are hosting a series entitled “Listening Tour: Your Business Matters” throughout the county because we want to hear from you. We want to understand your experiences and your difficulties. We are listening. Together, we will build a chamber that works for you, creates opportunities, expands our businesses, and provides a space for us to collaborate.
Please attend a session to find out more. We look forward to welcoming you as a new member. Tour details are listed below:
Date: April 9, 2018 Time: 6-8pm Host: Dale Holeness Business: All Broward Realty Location: 4325 West Sunrise Blvd., Plantation, FL 33313
Date: April 30, 2018 Time: 6-8pm Host: Jahra McLawrence Business: The McLawrence Law Firm Location: 7101 West Commercial Blvd., Tamarac, FL 33319
Date: May 14, 2018 Time: 6-8pm Host: Roderick Harvey Business: HCT Certified Public Accountants & Consultants Location: 3816 Hollywood Blvd., Suite 203, Hollywood, FL 33021
Date: May 21, 2018 Time: 6-8pm Host: Garrie Harris Business: Alpha1 Staffing & Search Firm, LLC Location: 3350 SW 148 Avenue, Suite 110, Miramar, FL 33027
Facebook – Broward County Black Chamber of Commerce Twitter – BCFLBlkChamber Instagram – Broward Black Chamber Email info@BrowardCountyBlackChamberofCom. merce.com Website – www.BrowardCountyBlackChamberofCommerce.com