Lincolnites plan to form Black Chamber of Commerce

As more people across America grow interested in supporting Black businesses, some locals want to make sure local Black owners get that support right here in the capital city.
Commerce

As more people across America grow interested in supporting Black businesses, some locals want to make sure local Black owners get that support right here in the capital city.
“Actually, I got an overwhelmingly positive response,” said Rev. Tremaine Combs, pastor for Mount Zion Baptist Church.
Combs is one of many who are excited to start a Black Chamber of Commerce. He reached out to a private Facebook group and owners agreed there is a need. It would help owners like Aletta McClendon who owns Zen Salon and Physical Wellness.
“So new residents when they come in they are looking for a connection and so I believe that the Black commerce would be a great way to make those connections happen,” said McClendon.
She says women of color often have a harder time finding a stylist in the capital city.
And McClendon points out when black businesses are supported, it benefits people of all color as she has a diverse staff and clients.
“I think that Black businesses, small businesses, and entrepreneurs of the city of Lincoln have reached a critical mass where we have to start working together in all sectors,” said Combs. “Both the nonprofit sector, the for-profit, you know, larger corporations. We have to start working together.”
She says she also wants to help others grow.
“I think a lot of times we don’t know where to go and we don’t have the revenue as far as start-up costs and things like that,” said McClendon. “So, I’d like to connect in those areas and help other people in the community.”
And though the organization is focused on helping Black businesses, Combs adds that can help.
“We welcome anybody who is willing to come and willing to work with us, who’s willing to grow black entrepreneurship, who’s willing to engage in growing strong Black infrastructure and moving the city of Lincoln forward,” said Combs.
The Lincoln Chamber of Commerce supports this plan and is pushing for its own businesses to be inclusive.
“We talk about we need to create opportunities to build inclusion,” said Bruce Bohrer, vice president for the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce. “We need to be accountable and we need to be good listeners we need to be empathetic and we need to be change-makers.”
The Chamber made a pledge for its own business owners to sign to be more inclusive. They do plan to show support at that upcoming information meeting.
The Black Chamber of Commerce interest meeting is being held next Thursday, 7 p.m. at Mount Zion Baptist Church, masks, and gloves are encouraged.

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