Black-owned businesses have historically had to overcome many challenges to grow their enterprises. And the pandemic further complicated matters.
The Black Business Association of Memphis (BBA) and Bank of America recently hosted “Capital Conversations” for what the organizations hope will be the first in a series. The goal of the event was to connect local Black business owners to different agencies and business experts under one roof to help them prosper and thrive in Memphis.
More than 40 Black-owned business owners attended the “Capital Conversations” after-hours event at Bank of America’s main location on Poplar Avenue. They were divided into groups for mentoring sessions on how to grow a business and connect attendees with available resources that they may not have known about.
“We want Black businesses to have knowledge and access to resources that are required to have a successful business,” said Trevia Chatman, Bank of America’s Memphis president. “Building a strong vibrant business shouldn’t have a secret code, so right here in our city, we have organizations such as the BBA, Epicenter, Women’s Business Center South, CDFIs [Community Development Financial Institutions Funds] like Pathway Lending, and the City of Memphis and the work they do with diverse businesses.
“There are so many options, and it’s often hard to navigate the ecosystem,” she continued. “But it’s really understanding that there are so many points to entry and so many things business owners need to build those thriving businesses as they continue to navigate a pandemic.”