16 Jan 2016 Celebration of Black Businesses Holiday Party Recap
On Tuesday December 20th, 2016, The Presidents Council Business Chamber partnered with the Urban League of Greater Cleveland‘s Entrepreneurship Center to celebrate and connect African American business owners in the North East Ohio area at Winner’s Luxury Lounge in Euclid, Ohio.
Members of the Presidents Council Business Chamber, Urban League Small Business Development Center, Minority Business Assistance Center clients and the Consortium of African American Organizations were invited to mingle over great food and cocktails for an evening of networking and celebration. Erica C. Penick, Director of Operations for The Presidents’ Council welcomed guests to the event and discussed the evening’s theme, Access to Capital.
Erica talked about the Emerging Entrepreneurs Program, a highly competitive, 14 week, in-depth business development curriculum facilitated by industry experts, which provides insight and conversations to help grow African American businesses. Applications are open for the 2017 EE class. The deadline to apply is January 27th. Any potential applicants were encouraged to contact Member Services Coordinator Stephanie Sheeley at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Erica also discussed the U.S. Black Chambers Black Card. The Presidents’ Council Business Chamber has taken “Bank Black” a step further by partnering with U.S. Black Chambers Inc. to offer you the opportunity to secure a line of credit from Liberty Bank. Guests were encouraged to take advantage of the U.S. Black Chambers low-interest credit card designed to help individuals and business owners secure a line of credit with interest rates as low as 9.96%. Guests were invited to apply that day using promo code USBC5.
Lastly, Erica C. Penick discussed the Presidents’ Council Business Chamber. Attendees were encouraged to join North East Ohio’s only African American Business Chamber. The benefits of membership were discussed, including exclusive invitations to all Chamber events and membership meetings, access to chamber only RFP leads, company listing on our online business directory, select marketing opportunities through our #PCBuysBlack initiative and much more. All guests were encouraged to become members of the chamber or to inquire with Stephanie Sheeley for additional information.
Next, Urban League of Greater Cleveland President and CEO Marsha Mockabee, along with N. Michael Obi, Strategic Consultant of Business Development for the Urban League’s Minority Business Development Center and Chairperson of the Presidents’ Council Board of Trustee’s, discussed the UL’s Capital Access Fund. On December 1, 2016 the Urban League of Greater Cleveland announced its $8 million small business pilot, the Capital Access Fund. This fund seeks to provide loans between $10,000 and $2 million dollars to Greater Cleveland minority business owners, creating over 300 jobs in 3 years. In partnership with the Urban League of Greater Cleveland, The Presidents’ Council Business Chamber will make applications to these loans available for all members.
Angela Butler of the National Development Council, discussed the collaboration between NDC, the Urban League of Greater Cleveland, along with Morgan Stanley and Key Bank, coming together to provide a viable, local solution to the national challenge of lack of access to capital for African American and other minority owned business owners.
Finally, Erica C. Penick informed guests of the President’s Council Annual Conference which will be held on August 21st and 22nd 2017. The conference will focus on entrepreneurship, economy, education and healthcare, and will be a partnership with The Greater Cleveland Partnership, the Commission on Economic Inclusion and the Downtown Cleveland Alliance. This year’s annual conference will be a part of the city’s yearlong celebration of the 50th anniversary of Carl Stokes’ election as mayor of Cleveland in 1967, making him the first Black mayor of a major U.S. city. Guests were instructed to save that date in their calendars and to be on the look-out for further information.
Following the presentation, guests were invited to eat, drink and be merry. Light hors d’oeuvres were provided by Chef Eric Wells of Sky LaRae’s Culinary Services and the music was provided by Edward “DJ Phatty” Banks. Raffle winners were announced. Several people signed up for membership into the PCBC, applied for the U.S. Black Chamber Black Card, as well as received information for the Capital Access Fund and the Emerging Entrepreneurs Program.
Once again, we would like to thank all that came out to our holiday event, making it a great success. Happy New Year and we look forward to working with you all in 2017!