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
plans to enhance the impact his office has on those
businesses fall into three categories.
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.
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
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.
[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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.”