Detroit’s Black small business owners will soon see a new coalition in place to better serve their needs. Several Black entrepreneurs held a press conference to unveil a new partnership with help from TCF Bank. The Metro-Detroit Black Business Alliance will develop programs and initiatives that will help create revenue and sustainability for all Black business owners in the city.
Created in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the alliance highlights the specific and unique roadblocks Black businesses endure. Spearheaded by Charity Dean, founder of Dean Law and Consulting, and the former Director of Civil Rights for Detroit, the new business alliance will help create economic opportunities in the city, not just for business owners but also for the community.
“Systemic and structural racism have created an unequal wealth gap in our country. As a granddaughter and daughter of black entrepreneurs, and as a black entrepreneur, I am honored to lead this organization that will create programs and advocates for policies that will close that wealth gap for black entrepreneurs,” says Dean, President, and CEO of the Metro-Detroit Black Business Alliance.
For Black business owners, access to capital, rental locations, and visibility are barriers to keeping their doors open. Since COVID and presently, Black businesses face an even greater challenge in staying in business. With the help of the MDBBA, Black business owners, who are also apart of the alliance, will be able to use their collective force to come together and continue to make an imprint on the community.
“There’s power in numbers. The businesses that we represent at Three Thirteen will have representation here (at the MDBBA) indirectly through me and that’s a big deal to me,” says Clement Brown, owner and founder of Three Thirteen, a clothing store hub for Detroit’s Black clothing line designers.
TCF Bank, a founding partner alongside the MDBBA, was on hand to announce a $1 million investment over the next five years to further the programs and initiatives toward driving Black-owned businesses to the top.
“This is precisely what corporations should be doing. We are enthusiastic about this partnership and are committed and honored to continually serve and lift up Black-owned businesses in the region,” says Gary Torgow, chairman of TCF Bank.
Also, a part of the Alliance is one of Detroit’s oldest businesses. Turning 100-years-old at the height of the pandemic, Hot Sam’s, a premier shop for men’s fashion, is joining forces with the MDBBA to help other Black business owners open the door shine a light on the challenges Black business still have to overcome.
“The work of the Metro Detroit Black Business Alliance is so timely, in that there is an awakening that has happened across this country in the last year or so that shines a light on the plight and the fight of the black business and the unique challenges that we face. To have the support of an alliance is critical in addressing and eradicating these truths,” says Lauren Stovall, Legacy Preserver and Business Lead for Hot Sam’s and daughter of co-owner Tony Stovall.
The Metro-Detroit Black Business Alliance is hitting the ground running with a full calendar of events, initiatives, and programs for the city of Detroit. Besides partnering with the Detroit Pistons for some upcoming events, the Alliance is also looking to launch a Black business directory to highlight and encourage usage.
“The Metro-Detroit Black Business Alliance is focused solely on impact,” says Charles Nolen, Board Chair of the MDBBA and Cutters Bar & Grill owner. “From micro-businesses to large-scale Black-owned corporations, we want our black-owned business not just to survive- but to thrive.”
The MDBBA is now fully active and is a membership-based organization. Having several subscription levels, business owners will enroll in the tier that best suits their needs. Non-Black business owners and non-business owners are also encouraged to become members of the Alliance. For more information on membership and events, please visit www.mdbba.com