A new business association officially launched Friday with the aim of supporting and amplifying the voices of Black business owners.
Called the Metro Detroit Black Business Alliance (MDBBA), the group started a year ago out of recognition of the specific challenges Black business owners faced in the pandemic. Backed with $1 million from TCF Bank, the group plans to develop programs and advocate for policies that support Black businesses, and offer them the tools and resources to be profitable and sustainable.
“Systemic and structural racism have created an unequal wealth gap in our country,” said Charity Dean, president and CEO of the group. Dean was formerly the director of civil rights, inclusion and opportunity for the city of Detroit.
“I am honored to lead this organization that will create programs and advocate for policies that will close that wealth gap for black entrepreneurs,” said Dean.
A “disturbing relationship between high geographic incidence of COVID-19 and the economic health of Black-owned businesses” was found in a Federal Reserve Bank of New York report released this summer. It showed that businesses in Wayne County had less access to coronavirus-relief federal loans, a financial lifeline during the pandemic.
To help Black businesses survive the pandemic, Dean’s organization is also planning to open a business resource center that would offer coworking space, internet access and conference rooms, which will be especially important for people who are currently working at home who may not have sufficient internet speeds, Dean said.
MDBBA plans on releasing a Black business directory.
To join the alliance or to learn more, go to MDBBA.com.
Contact Adrienne Roberts: [email protected].