black-owned-businesses-in-sacramento-share-the-spotlight-in-kwanzaa-marketplace

Black-Owned Businesses In Sacramento Share The Spotlight In Kwanzaa Marketplace

midwife-turned-entrepreneur-opens-virginia’s-first-black-owned-birthing-center

Midwife Turned Entrepreneur Opens Virginia’s First Black-Owned Birthing Center

Meet Racha Tahani Lawler-Queen, a fourth-generation midwife turned entrepreneur who founded Gather Grounded Midwifery, the first and only Black-owned birthing center in the state of Virginia. The newly opened facility is designed to be a welcoming haven for expanding families.

Lawler-Queen embarked on this journey earlier this year, driven by her passion for providing care that resonates with the community.

“I got on a Zoom call with Black birth workers in RVA and they were just telling me about what they were facing in regards to the lack of representation in birth, especially out of hospital birth,” Lawler-Queen told WTVR.

With the community’s support, Lawler-Queen initially planned to transform a Richmond home into a birthing center. However, she faced challenges with city permits that restricted the center’s growth in the area. Determined to make a difference, she found a new location in Chesterfield County, Virginia, officially opening its doors in August.

Gather Grounded Midwifery offers intentional spaces for expectant mothers, featuring a family room and birthing room that accommodate diverse families. Lawler-Queen emphasized the importance of families having care that reflects and supports their unique identities, allowing them to experience pregnancy without fear or unnecessary interventions.

“It’s meant to feel like a place where people see themselves, they feel seen, they feel safe,” she said.

With over $30,000 raised on the birthing cottage’s GoFundMe page, Lawler-Queen acknowledged the diverse support, including money, art, toys, and diapers. She credits the community’s enthusiasm for the center’s success, emphasizing that it enables her to support families during one of their most significant life moments.

“It really gives them even more power and a greater voice and provides them an opportunity without fear to birth in freedom to give birth in a way that affirms them and their family and how they want to move forward after they have this baby,” she said.

Learn more about the birthing center via its official website at GatherGroundedMidwifery.com

Also, be sure to follow them on Instagram @GatherGroundedMidwifery

president-biden-celebrates-black-small-business-boom;-announces-new-investments-–-nashville-pride,-inc.

President Biden Celebrates Black Small Business Boom; Announces New Investments – Nashville PRIDE, Inc.

In a press call, top White House officials attributed the surge in Black entrepreneurship, the fastest in 30 years, to Bidenomics, which the president pledged would receive further support through new investments targeting underserved communities.  (photo by Mark Mahoney, Dream In Color Photography for the NNPA)

During President Biden’s visit to the Wisconsin Black Chamber of Commerce, he showcased the unprecedented growth of Black small business ownership under his administration. In a press call, top White House officials attributed the surge in Black entrepreneurship, the fastest in 30 years, to Bidenomics, which the president pledged would receive further support through new investments targeting underserved communities.

Hero Plumbing, a Black-owned business in Milwaukee dedicated to removing lead pipes, is at the forefront of this success story. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s historic $15 billion funding allocation will help the company fulfill President Biden’s promise to do away with all lead service lines by the end of the decade.

While highlighting his administration’s significant investments in small businesses, particularly those owned by Black entrepreneurs, President Biden still faces opposition from some Republicans in Congress. However, administration officials said that despite GOP resistance, the American Rescue Plan played a vital role in sustaining small businesses during the pandemic.

Biden’s commitment to fostering opportunities for working families and small business owners is contrasted with Republicans in Congress advocating a return to failed trickle-down economics. Officials said Biden remains steadfast in his belief that diversity is crucial for economic security, making unprecedented investments in Black communities to safeguard the American dream by investing in Black entrepreneurship and opportunity.

Administration officials noted that Biden’s ‘Investing in America’ agenda has catalyzed historic gains in small business creation and entrepreneurship. They reported that a record 15 million applications to start new businesses had been filed since he took office, with Black business ownership growing faster than in three decades.

The administration’s investment in Black entrepreneurs has yielded positive results, including:

  • A new record of nearly $70 billion in federal contracts awarded to small, disadvantaged businesses in FY 2022.
  • $12 billion allocated to community lenders to expand access to capital, resulting in an estimated $50 billion increase in lending to Latino communities and a nearly $80 billion increase in lending to Black communities over the next decade.
  • $10 billion in support for states, tribes, and territories, with $79 million dedicated to Wisconsin for capital access programs benefiting around 100,000 small businesses.

Officials also said Biden continues to prioritize local, community-led economic development and small businesses. In Milwaukee, a city experiencing economic revitalization under his administration, the Grow Milwaukee Coalition is a finalist for the Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration Recompete Program. The CHIPS and Science Act funds this program to foster small business development, high-quality job creation, and economic opportunity in under developed areas.

The Grow Milwaukee Coalition’s proposal aims to revitalize the historic 30th Street Industrial Corridor and connect the historically segregated Black community to economic opportunities across the city. This initiative aligns with President Biden’s commitment to building the economy from the middle out and the bottom up.

Further, the White House said Biden’s American Rescue Plan (ARP) has been pivotal in supporting small businesses, including Black-owned enterprises, in Wisconsin and nationwide. Key investments include:

  • A $10 billion fund, including $79 million for Wisconsin, to help small businesses access capital.
  • The Small Business Community Navigators Pilot Program provides $100 million to organizations supporting small businesses, significantly impacting Black-owned businesses.
  • The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Capital Readiness Program is awarding $125 million to 43 non-profit organizations, including $3 million for Wisconsin.

Biden’s Small Business Administration delivered $50 billion to small businesses in Fiscal Year 2023, with a focus on supporting underserved businesses, officials stated on the call. Federal contract spending on small, disadvantaged businesses reached a record-breaking $163 billion in 2022, exceeding the Administration’s goals.

“The president’s commitment to supporting small and minority-owned businesses extends to the clean energy sector, with investments in initiatives to grow disadvantaged clean energy businesses in underserved communities,” a senior official said.

kwanzaa-crawl-amplifies-black-owned-businesses-in-brooklyn

K

This year’s Kwanzaa Crawl supports Black-owned businesses for its sixth annual event.


To celebrate Kwanzaa, Brooklyn’s annual Kwanzaa Crawl is amplifying Black-owned businesses in the New York City borough. Its sixth iteration brought over 5,000 attendees to participate.

The event, held on Dec. 26, also helped raise money to help these businesses as they continue into the new year, with over $1 million raised for Black entrepreneurs with 50 establishments in Flatbush, Crown Heights, Bed-Stuy, and Bushwick. For the crawl, which began with a candle-lighting and singing of the Black national anthem, thousands of participants split into teams to take on the expansive bar-hopping experience. The event is meant to celebrate Black entrepreneurship in Brooklyn through this fun endeavor. Local news outlet PIX11 spoke to participants about what it means to the community.

“It’s all Black-led, Black-owned businesses,” said Stephanie Cancel, who attended this year. “It’s a bunch of amazing entrepreneurs, Black professionals. Everybody from everywhere that is Black in Brooklyn, coming out and celebrating and turning up.”

The Kwanzaa Crawl’s co-founder Kerry Coddett, who started the event with her sister Kristal Payne in 2016, also spoke to the publication about the important reasoning behind the crawl, sharing that the height of police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement sparked the idea to bring hope to the neighborhood.

“After so many consecutive killings of unarmed Black men, we were just in a state of hopelessness and frustration,” said Coddett. “Things felt really dark, and we thought, ‘What can we do to celebrate ourselves? What can we do to bring our community together?”

In not only uplifting Black-owned businesses, its connection to Kwanzaa remains as prevalent as ever, with the holiday celebrated from Dec. 26-Jan 1. According to the National Museum of African-American History and Culture, this year’s theme is Umoja, meaning unity in family, community, nation, and race. Its theme is maintained throughout the crawl.

“Kwanzaa is all about family and community,” shared the event’s emcee, Rice. “This Kwanzaa crawl represents cooperative economics, Ujima, cooperative economics that we are better together than we are separate,” Rice added.  

black-owned-lobbying-firm-spins-off-communications-business-to-meet-demand-|-new-pittsburgh-courier

Black Owned Lobbying Firm Spins Off Communications Business To Meet Demand | New Pittsburgh Courier

One of the city’s few Black-owned, lobbying firms, Bellevue Strategies, has spun off its communications business to meet the rising demand, the firm’s president said.

Now the communications business will be known as Bellevue Public Affairs and will be headed by Jessica Cosmé Platt, who will be president, said Mustafa Rashed, Bellevue Strategies president and CEO.

“More and more clients are looking for professional storytelling as a way to get their message across, to deliver ideas and to change policies,” Rashed said. “We’ve been doing both for a while and we saw an opportunity recently to expand it and separate the services.”

Already, Platt had been running the firm’s communication business, he said.

“Over the past few years, we have essentially built and expanded two companies under one roof and one name,” Rashed said. “Nearly two years ago, we bolstered and expanded our traditional lobbying practice with the expertise of veteran lobbyist Holly Kinser. Earlier this year, we even further enhanced our government relations team by adding former Council Member and mayoral candidate Derek S. Green.”

Ivanhoe Smith, managing partner of Coral Island Investments in Philadelphia, said the main reason companies split themselves in two is to focus.

“Whatever the business is that they are spinning off, they need to focus on it, staff it, make it a profit center and make it a standalone business that makes or breaks on its own,” Smith said.

One of the reasons that the communications business is growing, is the trend by many companies to take public stands on social issues such as antisemitism, islamophobia and racism.

“Over the past 10 years we noticed a shift, companies used to be OK with not saying anything about social issues, public issues,” Rashed said. “But nowadays, if you don’t say something, that could be saying something.”

Increasingly, companies are seeking out crisis communications help when they find themselves in a bad light because of something they did or something an executive did, he said.

As an example, Rashed pointed to resignation of M. Elizabeth Magill as president of the University of Pennsylvania on Dec. 9, a few days after she appeared before Congress and was accused of evading hypothetical questions about of whether or not students calling for the genocide of Jewish people would be punished by the school.

“We just saw the University of Pennsylvania trying to navigate a very complicated situation. The world that we live in now demands that you have a response to everything,” Rashed said. “That’s a very good example of if you get caught between what your counsel says you should say and what your communications people say you should say and you get it wrong, it could be fatal to your career, your customers, your bottom line and the shareholders that you represent. We help them navigate the situation.”

Founded in 2015, Bellevue Strategies began as a firm lobbying city, state and federal government entities for clients, seeking to address gaps in diversity of thought, talent and life experiences.

Today, Bellevue Public Affairs will focus on strategic communications and stakeholder management.

For her part, Cosmé said she is excited about the opportunity. Her experience includes working with businesses, labor unions, nonprofits and political figures.

“Four years ago, I joined a small but mighty lobbying firm of five people doing meaningful work,” Cosmé said. “Over the last few years, through the pandemic and an increased need to communicate and navigate sensitive issues, that small firm expanded threefold and launched the public affairs and strategic practice that will stand on its own.”

This article originally appeared in the Philadelphia Tribune.

president-biden-celebrates-black-small-business-boom,-announces-new-investments-–-the-savannah-tribune

President Biden Celebrates Black Small Business Boom, Announces New Investments – The Savannah Tribune

 

During President Biden’s visit to the Wisconsin Black Chamber of Commerce, he showcased the unprecedented growth of Black small business ownership under his administration. In a press call, top White House officials attributed the surge in Black entrepreneurship, the fastest in 30 years, to Bidenomics, which the president pledged would receive further support through new investments targeting underserved communities.

Hero Plumbing, a Black-owned business in Milwaukee dedicated to removing lead pipes, is at the forefront of this success story. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s historic $15 billion funding allocation will help the company fulfill President Biden’s promise to do away with all lead service lines by the end of the decade.

While highlighting his administration’s significant investments in small businesses, particularly those owned by Black entrepreneurs, Pres- ident Biden still faces opposition from some Republicans in Congress. However, administration officials said, despite GOP resistance, the American Rescue Plan played a vital role in sustaining small businesses during the pandemic.

Biden’s commitment to fostering opportunities for working families and small business owners is contrasted with Republicans in Congress advocating a return to failed trickle-down economics. Officials said Biden remains steadfast in his belief that diversity is crucial for economic security, making unprecedented investments in Black communities to safeguard the American dream.

Investing in Black Entrepreneurship and Opportunity

Administration officials noted that Biden’s “Investing in America” agenda has catalyzed historic gains in small business creation and entrepreneurship. They reported that a record 15 million applications to start new businesses had been filed since he took office, with Black business ownership growing faster than in three decades.

The administration’s investment in Black entrepreneurs has yielded positive results, including:

• A new record of nearly $70 billion in federal contracts awarded to small, disadvantaged businesses in FY 2022.

• $12 billion allocated to community lenders to expand access to capital, resulting in an estimated $50 billion increase in lending to Latino communities and a nearly $80 billion increase in lending to Black communities over the next decade.

• $10 billion in support for states, tribes, and territories, with $79 million dedicated to Wisconsin for capital access programs benefiting around 100,000 small businesses.

New Investments and Local Community Growth

Officials also said Biden continues to prioritize local, community-led economic development and small businesses. In Milwaukee, a city experiencing economic revitalization under his administration, the Grow Milwaukee Coalition is a finalist for the Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration Recompete Program. The CHIPS and Science Act funds this program to foster small business development, high-quality job creation, and economic opportunity in underdeveloped areas.

The Grow Milwaukee Coalition’s proposal aims to revitalize the historic 30th Street Industrial Corridor and connect the historically segregated Black community to economic opportunities across the city. This initiative aligns with President Biden’s commitment to building the economy from the middle out and the bottom up.

Historic Progress and Investments in Black-Owned Businesses

Further, the White House said Biden’s American Rescue Plan (ARP) has been pivotal in supporting small businesses, including Blackowned enterprises, in Wisconsin and nationwide. Key investments include:

• A $10 billion fund, including $79 million for Wisconsin, to help small businesses access capital.

• The Small Business Community Navigators Pilot Program provides $100 million to organizations supporting small businesses, significantly impacting Black-owned businesses.

• The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Capital Readiness Program is awarding $125 million to 43 non-profit organizations, including $3 million for Wisconsin.

Continued Support and Future Prospects

Biden’s Small Business Administration delivered $50 billion to small businesses in Fiscal Year 2023, with a focus on supporting underserved businesses, officials stated on the call. Federal contract spending on small, disadvantaged businesses reached a record breaking $163 billion in 2022, exceeding the Administration’s goals.

“The president’s commitment to supporting small and minority-owned businesses extends to the clean energy sector, with investments in initiatives to grow disadvantaged clean energy businesses in underserved communities,” a senior official stated.

kwanzaa-crawl-in-brooklyn-supports-black-owned-businesses

Kwanzaa Crawl In Brooklyn Supports Black-Owned Businesses

BROOKLYN, N.Y. (PIX11) — More than 5,000 people packed bars and restaurants in Brooklyn Tuesday for the sixth annual Kwanzaa Crawl. To date, the event has raised more than $1 million for Black-owned businesses.

More than 20 Black-owned bars across Bushwick, Flatbush, Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Heights participated.

“It’s been wonderful,” said Ronald Snow, the manager of Brooklyn Beso, one of the participating bars. “The crowd’s been wonderful. The energy’s been high. And we’ve been loving every minute of it.”

Participants split into teams, hopping from bar to bar, beginning Tuesday afternoon.

“It’s all Black-led, Black-owned businesses,” said participant Stephanie Cancel. “It’s a bunch of amazing entrepreneurs, Black professionals. Everybody from everywhere that is Black in Brooklyn, coming out and celebrating and turning up.”

While the atmosphere was certainly celebratory, the meaning behind the crawl is deep.

“After so many consecutive killings of unarmed Black men and we were just in a state of hopelessness and frustration,” said Kerry Coddett, who founded the crawl with her sister Kristal Payne in 2016. “Things felt really dark and we thought, ‘What can we do to celebrate ourselves? What can we do to bring our community together?”

“The deeper meaning is just rooted in supporting each other,” said Yolanda Brown, who served as a Kwanzaa Crawl team leader. “I just gained a whole set of 35 friends. It’s great.”

‘kwanzaa-crawl’-is-back!-brooklyn-celebrates-black-culture-and-local-business

‘Kwanzaa Crawl’ Is Back! Brooklyn Celebrates Black Culture And Local Business

Dec 26, 2023, 10:55amUpdated 4m ago

Tuesday marked the return of Brooklyn’s annual “Kwanzaa Crawl.”

The one-day celebration is dedicated to embracing Black culture and supporting local businesses.

Dec. 26 marked the first day of Kwanzaa, and Tuesday’s celebration brought out hundreds of people in Brooklyn who are stopping at local businesses and supporting places in the community that make a difference. 

“Supporting Black-owned businesses, keeping the money in our community, emphasizing unity, it’s been a peaceful event,” said Ukinebo Osarogiuwa. “Being a new Black business here in Brooklyn, it’s very welcoming and exposing us to some people who didn’t know we exist.”

Over 40 Black-owned businesses are participating in the Kwanzaa Crawl. Around 55 teams were spotted making their way to those businesses to celebrate Black culture and remember the principles of Kwanzaa. 

The crawl first started in 2016, and participants took to the streets until 11 p.m. to commemorate Kwanzaa – a weeklong celebration of African-American heritage. 

‘kwanzaa-crawl’-is-back!-brooklyn-celebrates-black-culture-and-local-business

‘Kwanzaa Crawl’ Is Back! Brooklyn Celebrates Black Culture And Local Business

Dec 26, 2023, 10:55amUpdated 3d ago

Tuesday marked the return of Brooklyn’s annual “Kwanzaa Crawl.”

The one-day celebration is dedicated to embracing Black culture and supporting local businesses.

Dec. 26 marked the first day of Kwanzaa, and Tuesday’s celebration brought out hundreds of people in Brooklyn who are stopping at local businesses and supporting places in the community that make a difference. 

“Supporting Black-owned businesses, keeping the money in our community, emphasizing unity, it’s been a peaceful event,” said Ukinebo Osarogiuwa. “Being a new Black business here in Brooklyn, it’s very welcoming and exposing us to some people who didn’t know we exist.”

Over 40 Black-owned businesses are participating in the Kwanzaa Crawl. Around 55 teams were spotted making their way to those businesses to celebrate Black culture and remember the principles of Kwanzaa. 

The crawl first started in 2016, and participants took to the streets until 11 p.m. to commemorate Kwanzaa – a weeklong celebration of African-American heritage.