Quad Cities Chamber launches Black Business Council

DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) – Designed to focus on the needs and concerns of black business owners, the Quad Cities Chamber recently started the Black Business Council. One of the goals of the Black Business Council is for the Quad Cities Chamber to meet with Black business owners, leaders, and community advocates to ensure they have the correct opportunities, resources, and connections to succeed.

“We want to be a resource to any business that is looking to grow and develop, and we are putting a little special emphasis on African-American, Black-owned businesses,” said Mark Holloway, Quad City Chamber’s vice president for talent and inclusion . “As we go about helping to grow and develop businesses, we’re doing it in a culturally responsible way. Also, we realize there are some advantages that we have, some tools that we have that help the black businesses grow and develop in the Quad Cities.”

The first meeting took place on Feb. 8 and was designed to hear the concerns of business owners.

“We want to say we are here, we want to be inclusive and share the expertise that we have,” Holloway said.

Sherwin Q. Robinson Sr. said he joined the Black Business Council for both networking purposes and setting an example for aspiring black business owners.

“When you can see somebody who looks like you doing some positive things around here, it makes you feel that much more positive or have a desire to even get engaged,” Robinson said. “When you have people that are willing to speak out because there are a lot of great people that are sitting around that table that have been doing some great things over the years, it helps to know that you have voices who are willing to stand up and support one another.”

There are currently 12 businesses involved with the council, but Holloway said the goal is to expand.

“By adding a minority professionals in leadership positions, I think it positions that company, whatever company that may be, for more success,” Holloway said. “We’re only becoming more and more diverse. I think as we bring those voices to the table, we are moving forward in a way that allows us to be successful long-term.”

Holloway said the next Black Business Council meeting is set for March 28 at 11 am at the Quad Cities Chamber office.

The Black Business Council is the first of three minority business councils the Quad Cities Chamber plans to launch in 2022. The Quad Cities Chamber also plans to create the Hispanic Business Council and Women’s Business Council.

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