On July 14th former surviving Presidents of the Black Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City, Inc. convened a meeting to discuss reconstituting and restoring the organization. The past Presidents present for the meeting were Kelvin Perry (1988-1993), Linwood Tauheed (1993-1994), Ronald Craddolph (1995), Harriet Brewer (2001-2008), and Chuck Byrd (2009-2016), along with former employee Sergio Moore and BCC supporter LaTasha McCall.
Among the topics discussed were several public policy initiatives which highlighted the City’s use development tax incentives, both having adverse impacts upon black businesses and workers; and the decision by the Board of Education to eliminate black vendors and suppliers at the direction of the Superintendent John Covington. That particular decision was a capitulation of the Minority Business Enterprise Program for which the Chamber had initiated in partnership with the School District back in 1987.
It was agreed, that the Chamber is essential to the vitality and well-being of our community. Its purpose shall continue to be to assist, promote, and support our businesses in achieving economic prosperity and economic independence through ownership and entrepreneurialism; and to advance the general welfare and prosperity of the community at large through the advocacy of public and private sector programs and policies supportive of their economic development.
In furtherance of this purpose the Chamber has three primary programming objectives:
I. Providing economic development assistance to economically disadvantaged black businesses in the Kansas City Metropolitan area.
II. Equaling the odds between Kansas City’s Black enterprise system and the government, majority owned businesses and the banking industry, which in the past (and is currently) guilty of neglecting black businesses.
III. Instilling within the black community the importance of patronizing black businesses.
The Chamber will be a central resource, voicing the needs and challenges facing black businesses as well as promulgating and sponsoring legislative and public policy issues of significant concern to our businesses.
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