Wilmington Chamber of Commerce launches new African American business council

Wilmington Chamber of Commerce launches new African American business council
Tracey Jackson will chair the newly-established African American Business Council (Source: Tracey Jackson)
The Wilmington Chamber of Commerce is partnering with several African American business leaders to establish the African American Business Council (AABC). (Source: WECT)
The Wilmington Chamber of Commerce is partnering with several African American business leaders to establish the African American Business Council (AABC). (Source: WECT)

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT)

The Wilmington Chamber of Commerce is partnering with several African American business leaders to establish the African American Business Council (AABC). The purpose of the council is to address the needs of African American businesses. 

“As our community continues to grow, the Wilmington Chamber wants to respond to the needs of the entire business community,” said Chamber President and CEO Natalie English.  

Tracey Jackson of U-Nex-O, a consulting firm, has been named chairperson of the council. 

“If you want to see full economic impact and you’re in a community and the vibrancy that can happen in a community, everybody has to see their fair share. That’s how you get the fullness of it,” Jackson said.

“You can have sectors of it, of people having, you know, the majority of the economic impact, but then you don’t get the fullness across the board,” Jackson said.

According to Jackson, many of the African American business owners didn’t see the benefits of joining the chamber. Jackson and English reached out to African American business leaders to help form the council, and said the response has been positive.

“I know that it’s a challenge if you’ve not been in a room you may feel uncomfortable in that room. If you’ve not been invited to be a part of a conversation, you may be hesitant to jump in, so I’m really thrilled that I’ve reached out to people, and they’ve embraced the idea of inviting African American business leaders into the Chamber and being more intentional about including them in conversations about growing the prosperity in our community,” English said.

The Council had its first meeting Wednesday, where attendees worked on creating goals for the group, and defining how the Council will operate.

“Our vision here at the Chamber is to cultivate prosperity in our community by encouraging business growth and that means for our entire community and when I looked around the rooms that I was sitting in in my first year on the job I noticed there were some people missing. So I intentionally reached out to some African American business leaders and asked for their help”

The Council doesn’t have another meeting scheduled yet, but are planning a focus group to hear the public’s thoughts and suggestions for March 15 at St. Luke Church. The public can register with the church if interested.

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