The Metro-Detroit Black Business Alliance (MDBBA) is a business with a recent grand opening for their Black Business Resource Center (BBRC) on Monday.
The BBRC, located at 1234 Washington Blvd., will provide free internet and co-working space for members. The Center will serve as a hub for all Black entrepreneurs to collaborate and gain access to community resources. The BBRC will also have workshops, seminars and other resources designed to help Black Businesses thrive.
The MDBBA launched five months ago with a $1 million contribution from TCF now Huntington Bank. The organization now boasts of over 200 members and growing.
“We congratulate our partners at the MDBBA for opening the Black Business Resource Center in Detroit,” said Detroit Economic Growth Corporation President and CEO Kevin Johnson. “This space will provide Black businesses with access to resources, meeting space and opportunities to network. We are aligned with MDBBA in prioritizing programs that enable Black entrepreneurial success and small business growth.”
To celebrate its Grand Opening, all Black owned businesses, regardless of MDBBA membership status, will be able to use the resource center for co-working, internet access and printing for free in the month of September. Following that month, the center will remain free of charge for MDBBA members and be accessible at a low cost for nonmembers.
“Black businesses face many historic barriers,” said Charity Dean, President/CEO of MDBBA. “The goal of the MDBBA is to eliminate barriers to success in every way possible. By providing this center to members, we are helping to close the digital gap that exists while creating a space for unapologetically Black innovation and creativity in entrepreneurship.”
Since its launch in March, MDBBA has successfully implemented programming beneficial to its members and the community.
In late spring, the organization focused on assisting Black business in accessing PPP and the Restaurant Revitalization Fund. That effort helped get over $2M into the hands of Black business owners in the region. This summer, the MDBBA launched the Hastings Street Index, a Black business directory for Wayne, Oakland and Macomb Counties. The index currently hosts approximately 1,000 Black owned businesses and is growing weekly.
The organization is currently accepting applications for a pilot program called Capital Connect. With the help of key technical assistance providers and funding partners, the program seeks to prepare and connect Black entrepreneurs to funding for their businesses.
“MDBBA’s new Black Business Resource Center will help Livegistics effectively locate both funding and sales opportunities in the Metro Detroit area,” said Justin Turk, Chief Executive Officer, Livegistics, Inc. and MDBBA member. “We look forward to MDBBA being a partner in helping minority owned companies like Livegistics obtain equitable opportunities in the open market.”
The opening of the BBRC is another initiative that the MDBBA has brought to fruition as part of its inaugural year planning. Sponsors of the BBRC include Comcast Business, Molson Coors and Chase Bank.
“The Black Business Resource Center will serve our business on many levels,” says Kandis Ecton, State Farm Insurance Broker and MDBBA Member. “The downtown location is an extremely productive, and professional environment. It allows me to have a convenient workspace outside of my office.”