At the Allies, Issues, and Action Meeting on Tuesday, May 27, 2014; Ken Harris, President and CEO of the Michigan Black Chamber of Commerce addressed the crowd on the inclusiveness or exclusiveness of black businesses in the City of Detroit’s economic recovery plan. He shared statistics with us that there are over 79,000 black businesses in the State of Michigan of which 32,000 are in the City of Detroit. While the number indicates that our citizens have an “entrepreneurial mindset,” 92% of these businesses only employ 1-3 people which hinders our ability to move from small businesses to corporations and play a larger role in the economy.
This conversation comes at a very special time in our community as we continue to see programs like Goldman Sach’s 10,000 small businesses and the $100M from J.P. Morgan Chase. The question was posed by audience guests, “Will this really make a difference in our communities?”
Additionally he informed the crowd on the current work of the Michigan Black Chamber of Commerce. To date, they have over 1700 paid members and represent over $14.6 B in revenue. They have also expanded their reach into the local municipalities of Grand Rapids, Southfield, Pontiac, and most recently Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti among others. To find out more information about the Michigan Black Chamber of Commerce you may visit their website at www.michiganblackchamber.com.