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«A new era business association momentum 2015 Annual Report momentum Our Vision A stable and thriving African heritage business association that ...»

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A new era business association


2015 Annual Report


Our Vision

A stable and thriving African heritage business association that promotes and improves the

general welfare, prosperity, and interconnectedness of the community of African heritage.

Our Mission

To serve the economic and entrepreneurial advancement of people of African heritage in the

State of Minnesota.

Our Value Proposition

….to our Corporate Partners:

Provide access to businesses of African Heritage.

Provide industry research, data, and information on services and/or products that target the black consumer.

…to our Entrepreneurial Constituents:

Provide access to key decision makers.

Promote and facilitate black business commerce.

…to our Community:

Provide the local community access to black businesses.

Promote local business commerce that fosters jobs and economic prosperity.

Our Core Strategic Goals

• Grow a strong, vital and united black business community

• Create jobs in the community that result from the growth of our member businesses

• Promote business to business commerce with our corporate partners and between our member businesses; and

• Influence legislation that affects our businesses and our community.

MBCC – Collaboration | 1 LEADERSHIP LETTER On behalf of the Board of Directors, staff, and stakeholders, we would like to extend our gratitude to all who worked so hard to strengthen and enhance the Minnesota Black Chamber of Commerce (MBCC) this year. 2014-15 marked another year on the move as MBCC was enthusiastically encouraging, preparing, and supporting entrepreneurialism.

Highlights of the year included our continued focus on providing access to capital, managing our Small Business Impact Fund and working with African heritage businesses to strengthen their organizational and business capacity. We are especially grateful to the Northwest Area Foundation for the grant to support our High Growth Development Business Project. The Northwest Area Foundation has been a crucial partner to the Chamber this year.

This past year, we shared resources by providing information on available tax credits and the latest data on minority businesses in Minnesota. Many Business-to-Business (B2B) opportunities were presented as we linked members with industry powerhouses, such as the “How to do business with the U of M seminar,” and promoted MWBE business and engagement opportunities. We greatly strengthened our offerings by developing our new Chamber Member Software Platform; promoted the many successes of our Members; and provided information via our MBCConnection e-newsletter.

A special accomplishment, as always, was offering our own—and promoting others’—college scholarship opportunities. Whether it was providing small business workshops, promoting webinars on bolstering credit, or advertising bid opportunities for Member Businesses, the Chamber was on the move.

In the midst of working on a new narrative that will guide us in years to come, it was our events and activities that were arguably some of the most enjoyable, memorable and informative during this past year. We remember making a cultural connection during our Black History Month gathering “Voices of the Past, Lessons For Today”; mixing purpose with fun at the Fifth Annual College Scholars Golf Classic, and profiling the lessons learned with a group of our leading entrepreneurs and sharing the expert knowledge of the top black legal and financial professionals in the Twin Cities at the incredible afternoon we spent at Gray Plant Mooty for our “Emerging Business Growth and Succession Summit. ” Because of you, this was a growth year for the Chamber. Because of you, this was a refocus year for the Chamber. And, because of you, more businesses received access to capital and participated in a host of information and education sharing opportunities.

We are grateful for all the ways you were on the move this past year, dedicating your time and energies to encouraging, preparing, and supporting entrepreneurialism. Congratulations on another successful year. There’s a lot of work left to do, so join us this coming year as we continue to walk and work together, always on the move.

–  –  –

• Received $100k - two year grant from Northwest Area Foundation to support the MBCC High Growth Business Development Project initiative

• Delivered 100 hours of business consulting to 10 aspiring and micro business owners

• Made 4 SBIF loans to businesses located in north Minneapolis 55411 and 55412 areas.

• Collaborated with Council on Black Minnesotans around MBCC advocacy platform for black business participation on public projects

• Advocated for increased commitment to providing black business opportunity through discretionary contract spending

• Provided early support to the MinnVest Legislation

• Represented Minnesota black business at the National Black Chamber of Commerce Convention

• Published 56 issues of MBCConnection e-newsletter as a business and community information and opportunity resource.

• Co-Sponsored “Emerging Business Growth & Succession Summit” with Gray Plant Mooty and Twins Cities Latino Business Network. 80 plus business attendees. Participating organizations included: Sunbelt Business Brokers; Myslajek Kemp & Spencer, Ltd; Engelmeier & Umanah, P.A.; Foster Klima & Company, Inc. Topics included: “Preparing for a Successful Business Purchase or Expansion”; “Critical Lessons Learned from Leading Entrepreneurs”; Key Accounting/Tax and Wealth/Risk Management Strategies to Preserve and Enhance Your Legacy. ”

• Provided planning support to Minnesota Twins Jackie Robinson essay contest; participated in Jackie Robinson Day game celebration; and participated in the Diversity Networking event.

• Expanded and assigned board leadership within committee structure to manage key organizational responsibility: Membership, Technology, Advocacy, College Scholars, Marketing/Communications, Organizational Development, Executive, and Finance MBCC Board Members serve on the following external committees as advisors, strategists, and governance partners.

• Governor’s Diversity and Inclusion Council – Contracting Practices Committee

• Northside Jobs Creation Task Force – Executive and Big Fish Committee

• Ramsey County Workforce Committee

• St. Paul College President’s Advisory Board

• Everybody In MSAE Diversity and Inclusiveness Taskforce 4 | 2014 Annual Report


December 31, 2014 Unaudited statements of financial position and related statements of activities and changes in net assets, functional expense and cash flows

–  –  –

Lending preferences are given to business opportunities that create or retain local employment in north Minneapolis.

Business must be located in the 55411 and 55412 areas. All businesses in the designated area are welcomed to apply. Special emphasis is placed on lending to African American owned businesses to close the disparity gap.

Loans range from $1,000 to $25,000 for working capital, equipment, and inventory.

Bringing capital access to the minority business community provides real and substantial impact to communities of color by helping distribute capital to targeted businesses, thereby creating jobs, and inspiring others to become business owners.

MBCC’s goal is to leverage capital and business support to play its part in building a stronger and sustainable business community.

–  –  –

6 | 2014 Annual Report


The MBCC serves as a clearinghouse for business information and opportunity, business advocate, referral and development resource. While the focus of the organization is on African heritage communities, our membership is open to all persons regardless of race, creed, origin, or political

affiliation. Value added member benefits include:

• Business Networking

• B2B Connections

• Small Business Loans

• Business Promotional Opportunities

• Business Education Sessions

• Branding Opportunities The Chamber promotes its member’s products and services, provides business education and networking to keep you and your business in the public eye. The MBCC offers its members various

programs, tools, and events, such as:

Business Networking – focus is on connecting member businesses with decision makers through events sponsored by the chamber and its partners.

Member B2B Platform – MBCC encourages its members to engage in business with one another.

Understanding the importance of supporting one another and recycling our dollars builds a strong community. To this end, the chamber is preparing to launch its new database, ONYX. This is our next generation tool for chamber members to market, enhance and grow their business. With ONYX, members have access to multiple tools that can be used to enhance business development and management. ONYX will give members the ability to connect with other members, customers, social media, websites and other methods of marketing; it will be an excellent administrative and sales tool for our members. The dynamic technology of ONYX will help members deliver a marketing campaign, sales campaign and all things necessary to market and maintain your business. ONYX will propel the members of the Minnesota Black Chamber of Commerce to the next generation of doing business in the State of Minnesota.

Business Education – focuses on providing current information on business operations, marketing, financial management, technology, and more. Our business education sessions are facilitated by leading subject matter experts. Attendees network with Minnesota business leaders as they learn about current business trends and how to sustain and advance their businesses.

“Emerging Business Growth & Succession Summit” – Co-Sponsored by Gray Plant Mooty, MBCC, and Twins Cities Latino Business Network.

–  –  –

The MBCC College Scholar Program vision includes mentoring, internship, tutoring, and financial assistance, targeting students that are interested in careers in business and entrepreneurship. The chamber established its first collaborative partnership with the University YMCA, working together through its Collegiate Achiever Program (Y-CAP) which focuses on college and career readiness and retention practices. MBCC has also expanded its partnerships to include the Black Data Processing Associates (BDPA), Twin Cities Chapter. The chamber plans to align its business members and constituents to offer summer internships, career mentoring, guest speakers, and exposure to business networking for the college students sponsored by its’ program. Still in the fund development stage, the near term goal is to hire our first college summer intern, identify and support two new scholars beginning this Fall, increase the scholars fund, and begin the development of the program.


Annual College Scholars Golf Classic – Golf fundraising event benefiting the MBCC College Scholar program. The Golf Classic tournament features 18 holes of golf, luncheon and award recognitions for team play. Celebrity guest, hole sponsors, college scholar, MBE/WBE and corporate sponsor recognitions, BBQ Buffet, raffle and prizes. Lots of fun for a good cause! A wonderful networking event!

UMOJA Celebration – The chamber awards three (3) black-owned member businesses for their demonstrated business excellence and commitment to the community, and honors a business advocate of the year, for its demonstrated commitment to supporting black owned businesses and economic development in the community of color. The Umoja Celebration raises funds for the College Scholar initiative and general operations.

8 | 2014 Annual Report The Minnesota Black Chamber of Commerce thanks everyone who has given of their time, money, energy and enthusiasm. We recognize that the power of one is LIMITED but the power of many working together as one is LIMITLESS! Through the years many individuals commitment to the MBCC goes above and beyond. This year we recognize the extraordinary effort of.....

–  –  –

Kiara has been a volunteer with the chamber since 2014 supporting the College Scholars Golf Classic, Annual Meeting, and Black History Celebration. This year she has taken on an added role of member engagement and is currently planning the production of a new chamber video promo. MBCC has been the true benefactor of Kiara’s generous spirit. We thank Kiara for all she gives!

Northwest Area Foundation Minnesota Black Chamber of Commerce (MBCC) is working to evolve from an all-volunteer organization (AVO) to a staffed organization. With the support received from the Northwest Area Foundation, MBCC is one step closer. The grant from the Northwest Area Foundation provided funding support for program development, marketing/branding, and high growth business consulting. MBCC was able to continue its work with the Small Impact Loan Fund (SBIF), expand the loan committee, and provide consulting services to African American entrepreneurs. As the NWAF funding term ends, MBCC will continue to move to the next level of service, advocacy, and impact. We thank the NWAF for investing in our organization.

The MBCC strives to expand its organizational capacity to provide greater strategic business planning, expand existing and roll-out new business programs, and provide services that support the economic growth of its member businesses.


Bringing capital access to the minority business community can provide real and substantial impact to communities of color by helping targeted businesses to create jobs and inspire others to become

business owners. MBCC’s predominant goals are:

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