It has been a while since we updated you about our progress over the last eight (8) months. We have been extremely busy!
We created the Black Economic Council of Massachusetts, established a mission to advance the economic well-being of Black businesses, organizations that serve the Black community and Black residents of Massachusetts and applied for and received our 501c (3) non-profit status from the Internal Revenue Service. We would like to thank Denzil McKenzie, of McKenzie & Associates, for guiding us through the I.R.S. process.
We also launched a website (www.BECMA.org) and moved forward with the election of a Board of Directors with hopes of expanding board membership throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
The Black Economic Council of Massachusetts strives to achieve our mission through these primary activities:
- Education and advocacy on a variety of issues such as civil rights and more fair and equitable distribution of resources to improve the economic well-being of the Black community
- Work with a network of workforce development entities to insure better opportunities for the unemployed as well as the underemployed.
- Publications of resources such as a Black Owned Business Resource Guide
- Hosting an annual meeting that bring together Black owned businesses, corporate executives, government officials and others for relationship building and information sharing opportunities
- Consultation to corporations, government and non-profit entities concerning their diversity and inclusion efforts on specific projects or their daily procurement policy
- Promoting our member businesses to raise the visibility of Black owned businesses, and
- Representation of our organizations, members and other Black owned businesses in our advocacy efforts for more equitable access to contracts and jobs.
In June, we hired Reginald Nunnally, who recently retired from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, as a Business Consultant to assist with building the infrastructure of the organization and we are in the process of developing a list of certified Black owned businesses.
We’ve also developed an internship program and hired Black summer interns that are working on our social media strategy including a Twitter account, Facebook page and updates to our website, as well as mapping the entire Blue Hill Ave corridor to better understand ownership, available businesses and gaps in services.
We have also established a relationship with the Massachusetts Gaming Commission and secured a seat on their Advisory Board.
We have begun the process of establishing a draft policy and procedures and executive order templates for procurement purposes with local, state, corporate and non-profit entities, and are currently scheduling meetings with the various Community Development Corporations (CDCs) in the Boston area to get an understanding of how their activities have and can contribute to a Black economic development strategy including wealth creation and permanent jobs for people living in predominantly Black communities.
In the immediate future we will be scheduling meetings with City of Boston officials to discuss the implementation of policies and procedures for wealth creation programs, access to capital and technical assistance programs that directly benefit Black owned businesses and the Black community in general.
If you have issues that you think BECMA should be addressing from an economic development perspective, wealth creation, access to capital, or technical assistance for expansion or starting a business and for job creation please feel free to contact us by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to the annual meeting this fall to bring you further updates about our accomplishments, the economic resources available and networking opportunities with those entities that have contract opportunities, access to capital, technical assistance and potential development opportunities.
If you have not already, please join BECMA! Your voice, membership and contributions are needed for us to succeed.