DETROIT (CBS Detroit) Michigan’s first all-black chamber of commerce launched Tuesday in Midtown Detroit to exclusively aid nearly 33,000 black-owned businesses.

O’Neill Swanson, CEO of Swanson Funeral Home, said a chamber of commerce serving the needs of black-owned businesses will be critical to the growth and development not only of Detroit, but the rest of the state of Michigan.

The new chamber will have members in Pontiac, Southfield, Grand Rapids, Flint and Lansing.

The goal, per the new Detroit Black Chamber of Commerce is to “broaden access to financial assistance and health services for black business owners and their employees.”

Tony Stovall, president of the Detroit Black Chamber of Commerce, hosted a media day on Tuesday at the St. Regis Hotel in Detroit where representatives from PNC Bank, the state of Michigan, the city of Detroit and a local healthcare provider shared their support.

The core focus of the DBCC is to demonstrate effective leadership in the pursuit of parity, equity and inclusion in all areas of business growth and development in the Detroit region.

“Membership and involvement is the essence of an effective Chamber of Commerce. Businesses become members because they take pride in their community and want to grow their companies.  As a chamber member, they become a voice in the community where they conduct business,” Stovall said.

The DBCC plans to serve as an advocate to address the challenges facing black business owners with policy makers, investors and others to access capital.

It’s necessary, Stovall said, for black business owners to gain access to “mainstream economics.”

The chamber plans to address barriers to capital, which Stovall believes now limits the expansion of black-owned businesses, provide effective training and support in best business practices for continued success, and to “level the playing field for black businesses to obtain opportunities in the private and public sectors.”

Specifically, chamber members said their primary goal is to increase membership to more than 500 and represent members at public hearings and with the media on issues that impact “not only the business community but the community at large.”

Comments (11)
  1. Hondo says:

    Isn’t this discriminatory and racist, and if not, why? Especially with statements like “to exclusively aid nearly 33,000 black-owned businesses”, “broaden access to financial assistance and health services for black business owners and their employees” and other statements.

    As a successful Latino, I find this further separates the races.

    1. michael payne says:

      there are mexican and latino buisness organiations out there on the internet,go to the united states hispanic chamber of commerce,there are hundreds of latino organizations that help latinos and mexicans in all fields

    2. Joe says:

      black people think everybody else is racist, but of course many blacks are even more racist than the people they always accuse of racism to explain away their own failures and shortcomings. but take heart an all-black chamber of commerce is almost certain to fail. they have proven time and again they can’t make a success of anything without help. can you imagine what it’s going to be like for the person responsible for collecting the membership dues? they’ll hear every excuse in the book. afterall if the decision is between paying a bill or buying some rims or bling, the rims and bling will win everytime.

  2. Nuff said says:

    Now exactly who is promoting racism? Wasn’t there a Supreme Court case that said a private business organization had to admit women because the organization gave an unfair business and career advantage to memebers and iit was wrong to exclude women on th basis of their sex. Isn’t it the same true here? This organization is designed to give a business advantage to it members but it limits it’s members to a certain race, thereby excluding others fro having the same business advantage in a discriminatory manner. But the obvious racism will be overlooked because it is a minority committing the racist acts. This country is crazy. Look at the Florida girls who made a video and were expelled for stating what they had observed and felt about minoritues. Meanwhile they receive death threats for their video and THAT seems to be OK while everyone is busy decrying the mostly true statements of the girls..

  3. christy says:

    Imagine that. A bunch of whiners commenting about biasedness. How many white people do you think live in Detroit? The DBCC reflects the population and business climate in the city. Quit whining and get over it.

  4. christy says:

    Imagine that. A bunch of whiners commenting on biasedness. Get over it! How many white people or latinos do you think live in the city of Detroit? The DBCC reflects the population and business climate of the city. If you wanna whine about something, whine about income inequality or something worthy.

  5. Creswell says:

    These same individuals will still support a socialist economy, they have never ever supported a free market system.

  6. Vera Rose says:

    Wish these new members the best. The state CoC is made up of Glenn Beck style Republicans and the less of them, the better.
    As for “Cresswell…prove it.

    1. Wes says:

      real smart thinking there Vera. the Glenn Beck style Republicans run things and make them work to the benefit of all. all this ethnic diversity Democratic BS has wrought is failure. i would refer you to Detroit itself as a good example. if Detroit had been Republican ran the last 50yrs it may have problems but it wouldn’t look like Beriut. people like you amaze me; you would rather live in a crime-ridden sh!thole of a city than rethink some of your brain washed political ideas and improve your lot in life.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Watch & Listen LIVE