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September 2019

Monday, September 24 - September Update

June 2019

Monday, June 3 - BECMA Update

May 2019

Tuesday, May 21 - Legislative Agenda

Monday, May 6 - Council Hearing Summary


April 2019

Thursday, April 25 - Council Hearing

Tuesday, April 23 - Opportunity Zone Followup

Monday, April 8 - New partnership

March 2019

Tuesday, March 5 - New office announcement

February 2019

Monday, February 18 - Solutions Series Recap

 

Vol.2019 No.21 - September 24 Boston Procurement Update


 
*|MC:SUBJECT|*
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*|FNAME|*,

Earlier this summer, I sent you a short note detailing the work BECMA had been engaged in regarding procurement issues in the City of Boston. That work included meeting directly with Mayor Walsh and his team to share our recommendations for increasing city spending with our business members.

One of the projects the City is moving forward with is a Disparity Study that will help identify where the gaps exist and offer further recommendations on how to solve these issues. It will also allow the City to set benchmarks regarding spending with minority-owned businesses.

If you are a business owner or entrepreneur, we encourage you to join one of the four (4) community meetings taking place around the city that will inform the Disparity Study:

Mattapan - Disparity Study Community Meeting
WEDNESDAY | September 25th, 5PM-8PM
Food & Networking at 5PM | Meeting starts at 6PM
Mattapan Library
1350 Blue Hill Avenue
Mattapan, MA 02126

Codman Square - Disparity Study Community Meeting
THURSDAY | September 26th, 5PM-8PM
Food & Networking at 5PM | Meeting starts at 6PM
Codman Square Library
690 Washington Street
Dorchester, MA 02124

East Boston - Disparity Study Community Meeting
TUESDAY | October 1st, 12PM-2PM
Food & Networking at 12PM | Meeting starts at 12:30PM
East Boston Library
365 Bremen Street
East Boston, MA 02128  

Central Boston - Disparity Study Community Meeting
WEDNESDAY | October 2nd, 8AM-12PM
Breakfast & Networking at 8AM | Meeting starts at 9AM
Central Library
700 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02116

I hope you will be able to join us at one of the community meetings, *|FNAME|*! I look forward to sharing other important updates on this issue with you shortly.

 All the best,

 Segun Idowu
 Executive Director

--

P.S. Here is a brief history of BECMA's involvement in the Boston procurement conversation:
  • December 2017: BECMA works with then-Councilor Pressley and Councilor Wu to pass an ordinance requiring quarterly reporting on city MBE spending and goal-setting, among other policies
  • January 2019: Boston City Councilors Wu and Janey file a hearing order to discuss equity in City of Boston contracting
  • May 2019: The hearing is held and the Boston Globe writes their initial story on this matter as well as a follow-up story on minority contracting. View a recap of the testimony on our website
  • May 2019: BECMA meets with Mayor Walsh and his team two weeks after that hearing and makes recommendations on how to address the issue using feedback from our business members. We also have subsequent meetings with the Office of Economic Development to work on our recommended next steps
  • August 2019: We meet again with the Office of Economic Development to discuss their progress on our recommendations
ICYMI: BECMA News
We are a little over a month away from the November Mass. Black Expo at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center! Make sure you register as an attendee, a vendor, a volunteer, or support us as a sponsor!
TODAY IS ELECTION DAY IN BOSTON! (click to learn more about the candidates)
Looking to add value to your Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives? Need diverse talent for your company? Want to market your business to New England's growing Black community? 

Check out our partnership with the Bay State Banner and learn how you can expand your reach.
BOSTON - Contract Opportunity
Click for more details

PPLM - VP, Equity & Engagement
Click for more details

City of Framingham - Director role
Click for more details

Basic Black WGBH - Intern
Click for more details
Bos. Housing Authority Opportunity
Click for more details

The Partnership Opportunities
Click for more details

Inst. for Nonprofit Practice - Exec. Dir.
Click for more details

Cannabis Control Commission
Click for more details
Twitter
Facebook
Website
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Vol.2019 No.18 - June 3 BECMA Update


 
*|MC:SUBJECT|*

*|FNAME|*,

In early May, your experiences and feedback helped inform testimony we shared at a hearing regarding equity in Boston's contracting. It was at that hearing that we learned about the severe lack of city investment in businesses of color. 

Since that hearing, BECMA has taken several steps to address this matter with city officials and departments. I wanted to give you a brief synopsis of what we did and what we are doing now.

What we did:

Ten days after the hearing, we met with Mayor Walsh and his team to discuss next steps critical to addressing the stated inequities. Note that this is not an exhaustive list, but some of the recommendations we offered included that:
  • The city must set achievable, baseline goals for us to work toward that can be tracked and improved upon.
  • The city must develop inclusionary policy language that codifies best practices and ensures long-lasting efforts to redress historic injuries.
  • The city must devote significant resources to existing technical assistance programs that help businesses with back-end management and assist with efforts to scale and grow.
It was important to us that the city also hear directly from our members. We included feedback from BECMA businesses, sharing some of the following:
  • The city must break up large contracts (our study of FY18 data showed that 72% of contracts went to 2% of the vendors).
  • The city must share feedback with businesses who apply for and are denied a contract in order to help them better prepare for future opportunities.
  • The city must work with partners like BECMA and other stakeholders to strategically match our members and other MBEs to lucrative, upcoming contracts.
What we are doing now:

We continue to be in conversation with Mayor Walsh and the Office of Economic Development and are monitoring efforts in response to our recommendations. We are also meeting with other stakeholders in the Black business community in order to ensure as many voices as possible are at the table or sharing wisdom and feedback on how the city can best address this issue.

We also continue to solicit feedback from members and invite you to share your thoughts on our recommendations or any additional suggestions you may have at info@becma.org

Thank you for standing with us as we push the city to meet its obligation, *|FNAME|*. With your support, we will help to ensure that Boston becomes a model for the Commonwealth and the nation on contracting with businesses of color.

  Sincerely,


  Segun Idowu
  Executive Director
ICYMI: BECMA Releases Statewide Legislative Agenda
In May, we released our statewide legislative agenda for the 2019-2020 session of the Massachusetts State Legislature. We believe that the legislation contained within will help ensure the sustained growth of Black businesses and Black communities across the Commonwealth.

As circumstances change and new potential laws are introduced, this agenda will be updated to reflect these movements. If you don't see a piece of legislation that you believe should be supported by BECMA, be sure to reach out and let us know.
BECMA: On-The-Move
May 29, 2019 -- We held another successful conversation on Opportunity Zones with Boston Ujima Project and LISC Boston. We appreciate Black Market making their space available to us, and are grateful to all for the conversation! Stay tuned for a  follow-up communication containing presentations, information, and next steps that will be sent out later this week.
May 30, 2019 -- Partnering with Councilor Josh Zakim, we hosted the "Convening Cannabis Stakeholders" networking event in our office space. We paired people of color looking to own and operate a cannabis business with those looking to invest in these endeavors. Due to overwhelming interest, we will host similar events in the near future.
May 31, 2019 -- We joined the Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts for their 30th Annual Conference, both as a co-sponsor and as a keynote address. BECMA offered its perspective and recommendations on Boston's under-investment in businesses of color.
May 31, 2019 -- Later that day, the Massachusetts Recreational Consumer Council hosted their "Cannabis Crowdfunding" event in Roxbury, which we were proud to co-sponsor.  BECMA was able to deliver opening remarks and share resources and information about our work.
BECMA Member Highlights
Please join us in congratulating Reggie Nunnally, a BECMA Board Member, on the recent announcement of his appointment as the newest board member for the Stoughton Redevelopment Authority!
In May it was announced that Malia Lazu, a BECMA Advisory Board Member and founder of The Urban Labs, would be joining Berkshire Bank as a new EVP. Take a moment to read her op-ed in the Boston Globe about her new role.


Cannabis Equity Ordinance Working Session
Tuesday, June 4, 2019, 9:30 AM
Boston City Council, Floor 5
One City Hall Square
Boston, MA 02201
Doing business with the City: Business Certification Info Session
Tuesday, June 4, 2019, 5:00 PM
CommonWealth Kitchen
196 Quincy Street
Boston, MA 02121
Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts
8th Annual Conference and Jobs Fair

Saturday, June 6, 2019, 1:00 PM
Reggie Lewis Track And Athletic Center
1350 Tremont Street
Roxbury Crossing, MA 02120

Building Black Wealth Monthly Series - Understanding Credit Cards
Wednesday, June 12, 2019, 6:00PM
RCC, 
Bldg 3 Student Commons
1234 Columbus Avenue
Roxbury Crossing, MA 02120
HUSTLEx2: Goal Setter and Goal Getter
Wednesday, June 26, 2019, 6:00PM

WeWork
One Beacon Street, 15th Floor
Boston, MA 02108

BizGrow 2019
Thursday, July 18, 2019, 1:00 PM
Suffolk University Law School
120 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02108
Earlier this year, we announced our strategic partnership with the Bay State Banner. 

Take a moment to review the BECMA member-only opportunities for your business to save on advertising to New England's Black community!
Haitian Bus. Expo Vendor Signup
Click for more details

Encore Vendor Opportunities
Click for more details

2019 National MBE Study
Click for more details
Bos. Housing Authority Opportunity
Click for more details

The Partnership Opportunities
Click for more details

Mass. Servive Alliance Opportunities
Click for more details
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Vol.2019 No.18 - May 21 Legislative Agenda


 
*|MC:SUBJECT|*
*|FNAME|*,

We are proud to be able to share with you our statewide legislative agenda for the current session of the Massachusetts State Legislature! The legislation contained within will help to ensure the sustained growth of Black businesses and Black communities across the Commonwealth.

We invite you to review the document and call your individual representatives to encourage their support. Stay tuned for updates on our Lobby Day later this year when we will come together to collectively urge support of these important measures.

As circumstances change and new potential laws are introduced, this agenda will be updated to reflect these movements. Don't see a piece of legislation you believe should be supported by BECMA? Reach out to let us know!

  Sincerely,

  Segun Idowu
  Executive Director
BECMA: On-The-Move
BECMA joined Boston City Councilors Michelle Wu and Lydia Edwards to discuss the "Fair WorkWeek" ordinance and its impact on workers, particularly workers of color. The discussion was also joined by Tom McKeever, Secretary-Treasurer of SEIU Local 888; Marie Frances-Rivera, President of MA Budget and Policy Center; staff and members of the press.
We gathered alongside dozens of Boston residents, as well as City Councilors Kim Janey and Michelle Wu, who came together to honor the legacy and birth (May 19th) of Malcolm X and raise the Pan African flag over Boston City Hall Plaza. The event has consistently been organized by Jamarhl Crawford, founder of Blackstonian and a community activist.
Business Resource Opportunity
ICCC - Apply Today!
We are calling all small business owners interested in participating in the ICCC accelerator initiative to review information about the program and email us if you wish to be nominated!
Upcoming BECMA Programs
Join residents, local business owners, and other stakeholders to discuss the impact the new Opportunity Zone program will have on Roxbury. Click for more details.
The Guardian (April 27, 2019)


Few city contracts going to minorities
The Bay State Banner (May 8, 2019)





Democratizing Finance: Origins of the Community Development Financial Institutions Movement
Tuesday, May 21, 2019, 7:00 PM
Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building
2300 Washington Street
Roxbury, Massachusetts 02119

2019 Massport Business Diversity Summit
Thursday, May 30, 2019, 9:00 AM

Hilton Boston Logan Airport
One Hotel Drive
East Boston, MA 02128
SBN 30th Annual Conference
Friday, May 31, 2019, 8:00 AM
Natixis Investment Management
888 Boylston Street
Boston, 02199

Cannabis Crowdfunding: All-for-One. One-for-All
Friday, May 31, 2019, 6:00 PM

Z-Gallery
391 Dudley Street
Boston, MA 02119
Doing business with the City: Business Certification Info Session
Tuesday, June 4, 2019, 5:00 PM

CommonWealth Kitchen
196 Quincy Street
Boston, MA 02121
BizGrow 2019
Thursday, July 18, 2019, 1:00 PM
Suffolk University Law School
120 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02108
Earlier this year, we announced our strategic partnership with the Bay State Banner. 

Take a moment to review the BECMA member-only opportunities for your business to save on advertising to New England's Black community!
Dunkin' Brands is Hiring!
Click for more details

Encore Vendor Opportunities
Click for more details

2019 National MBE Study
Click for more details
Summer Grad Student Policy Fellow
Click for more details

The Partnership Opportunities
Click for more details

Vanguard Corp.
Click for more details
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Vol.2019 No.18 - May 6 Council Summary


 
*|MC:SUBJECT|*
*|FNAME|*

Last Thursday we had the opportunity to join the Boston City Council's Committee on Government Operations at a hearing sponsored by City Councilors Michelle Wu and Kim Janey to discuss the city's efforts to increase its spending with businesses owned be people of color. It was there that we learned that in FY2018, 28 out of 5,000+ contracts (0.55%) and $4.3 million (0.65%) out of $664 million had been awarded to minority-owned businesses. 

These were alarming figures and we will be working with city officials over the next few weeks to reverse this trend.

If you were not able to join us in person or online, you can read the Boston Globe's report on the discussion. Be sure to also check out our website for a summary of the hearing, to read our prepared testimony, and to watch the video of the hearing.

We are grateful to all who were able to attend and share their own experiences with, as well as helpful feedback on, the city's procurement process. We are further grateful to Councilors Michelle Wu and Kim Janey for sponsoring the hearing, as well as to Councilors Michael Flaherty, Lydia Edwards, Ed Flynn, and Matt O'Malley who joined the hearing to listen to public testimony.

Whether you attended the hearing or were not able to, we encourage you to submit your thoughts to the City Council at ccc.go@boston.gov. Your concerns will help shape the actions of our legislative body moving forward.

As always, be sure to let me know if you have any questions or concerns. Thank you for your continued support, *|FNAME|*.


 Sincerely,

 Segun Idowu
 Executive Director
Business Resource Opportunities
ICCC - Apply Today!
We are calling all small business owners interested in participating in the ICCC accelerator initiative to review information about the program and email us if you wish to be nominated!
StreetWise 'MBA'™ - 5/8 deadline!
As part of our partnership with Interise, we invite you to apply for their tuition-free StreetWise 'MBA'™ program beginning Wednesday, May 15th. Learn more here.
Upcoming Events
Join our partners at The Collier Connection, along with LiteWork Events and the Boston Young Black Professionals, for BLACK BOSTON NIGHT OUT. The event will take place on Friday, May 10th from 8–11 PM in the Linde Family Wing of the Museum of Fine Arts. It will feature performing artists, fashion presentations, and a vendor showcase. Click for more details.
We are partnering with Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts (SBN) this year for their 30th Annual Conference. The event invites businesses, community leaders, and nonprofit organizations to share ideas and make plans for how we can take the next concrete steps to create a more just and sustainable Massachusetts. It's an opportunity to join in a collaborative effort to make practical and positive changes in our community and local economy. We believe that all of us are stronger through partnerships and collaborations! Register here.
We are joining Lawyer's for Civil Rights on their annual BizGrow event, a free event designed to connect existing and potential small business owners with free legal and business support. Learn more here.
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Vol.2019 No.11 - April 25 Council Hearing