The Metro-Detroit Black Business Alliance (MDBBA) will host a grand opening today at 6 p.m. for its Black Business Resource Center (BBRC) at 1234 Washington Blvd., located between State Street and W. Grand River Avenue.
The new center will provide free internet and co-working space for members. and serve as a hub for all Black entrepreneurs to collaborate and gain access to community resources.
The MDBBA was launched five months ago with a $1 million contribution from TCF, now Huntington Bank. The Alliance has more than 200 members who have access to workshops, seminars, and other resources designed to help Black businesses grow.
“We congratulate our partners at the MDBBA for opening the Black Business Resource Center in Detroit,” says Kevin Johnson, president and CEO of Detroit Economic Growth Corp. “This space will provide Black businesses with access to resources, meeting space, and opportunities to network. We are aligned with MDBBA in prioritizing programs that enable Black entrepreneurial success and small business growth.”
To celebrate its grand opening, all Black Businesses, regardless of MDBBA membership status, will be able to use the center for co-working, internet access, and printing for free in the month of September. From there, the facility will remain free for MDBBA members and be accessible at low cost for nonmembers.
“Black businesses face many historic barriers,” says Charity Dean, president and CEO of MDBBA. “The goal of the MDBBA is to eliminate barriers to success in every way possible. By providing this center to members, we are helping to close the digital gap that exists while creating a space for … Black innovation and creativity in entrepreneurship.”
In late spring, MDBBA focused on assisting Black businesses with access to Paycheck Protection Program loans and money from the Restaurant Revitalization Fund. The effort helped more than $2 million get into the hands of Black business owners in the region, the organization states.
This summer, it launched the Hastings Street Index, a Black business directory for Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties. The index currently hosts approximately 1,000 Black-owned businesses and is growing daily.
Livegistics, which operates a cloud-based platform that brings more efficiencies to the construction industry, states the Black Business Resource Center will help the company and other entities effectively locate both funding and sales opportunities in the metro Detroit area.
“We look forward to MDBBA being a partner in helping minority owned companies like Livegistics obtain equitable opportunities in the open market,” says Justin Turk, CEO of Livegistics, Inc. and a MDBBA member.
The opening of the BBRC is another initiative that the MDBBA has brought to fruition as part of its inaugural year planning. Sponsors of the BBRC include Comcast Business, Molson Coors, and Chase Bank.