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Jay Black – Taking the Lead at the Minority Business Assistance Center

By Fletcher Word
Sojourner’s Truth Editor

“We are the State of Ohio’s conduit for all state resources directed to minority-owned businesses,” says Jay Black, Jr, newly appointed director of the Minority Business Assistance Center (MBAC), located on the Scott Park Campus of the University of Toledo.

Lisa Washington and Jay Black explain MBAC programs to Carter Johnson, VP of Atlas Energy Group

Black, who has spent the last four years as president of the Toledo African American Chamber of Commerce (TAACC),and still leads that organization, has greatly expanded his ability to assist minority business enterprises (MBE). As head of the State of Ohio’s MBAC Region 4 (four of seven offices), Black has the opportunity to assist minority-owned businesses within a 17-county, northwest Ohio area.

Minority-owned businesses include those owned by African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans and Native Americans.

Black’s plans to enhance the impact his office has on those businesses fall into three categories.

“First, I want to take the show on the road,” he says of his desire to spread the word that his office is open and available to assist businesses, particularly in the southern reaches of the region such as Lima.

Secondly, Black wants public awareness of the MBAC workshops to increase, thereby increasing participation. On April 20, for example, MBAC is hosting a workshop – open to all – during which banks, state representatives and the Small Business Administration will be discussing the subject of access to capital. Earlier this year, MBAC hosted a workshop on Quick Books.

Third, the office will enhance its efforts at partnering with organizations such as TAACC, ASSETS Toledo, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the NAACP in order to ensure that minority-owned businesses have access to the best possible resources while avoiding wasteful duplication of services.

“The more [such agencies] know about what we do here, the better they will feel about using us,” says Black. The goal is to work cooperatively with such organizations so that each group’s strengths are used for the best benefit of the client businesses. MBAC’s strengths are clearly providing business-focused services – accounting, marketing, bidding, financial, certification assistance. And at no cost.

If an individual walks into the MBAC offices with a dream of starting her own business but no idea of how to do so, Black would refer that person to ASSETS Toledo for “Business 101” training. When such an individual  is prepared to start or grow her business, MBAC is prepared to assist.

MBAC offers access to state, local and micro-lender financial assistance programs and can connect small, minority and disadvantaged businesses with a host of services .

“We have a direct loan program, for example, that is explicitly designed for businesses that are ready to expand,” says Black. “When they are ready to expand, they are ready to hire more people. Typically MBE’s will hire people from the MBE community – it’s a win-win for everybody.”

Black’s message to the community, to those who know of MBE’s in the community, is to refer people to his office. “If I can’t help them, I can refer them to someone else.

“The overall objective is to work with those businesses and get them to the next level of success and start to build wealth in our community.”



Copyright © 2015 by [The Sojourner's Truth]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 08/16/18 14:12:44 -0700.

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