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Big Bend Minority Chamber of Commerce hosts second ‘Moving Us Forward’ Town Hall

Published: Feb. 27, 2021 at 4:10 PM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - The Big Bend Minority Chamber of Commerce’s second “Moving Us Forward” Town Hall took place on Saturday.

The three hour session was designed to bring the black business community together, along with elected leaders and local government representatives.

The first town hall was held in September 2020; it generated 10 policy suggestions on what local governments can do to help African American businesses advance economically.

One request was for better access to capital for minority-owned businesses.

Big Bend Minority Chamber President and CEO Antonio Jefferson says the County’s partnership with the FAMU Federal Credit Union is a direct result.

“They were able to set aside 1 million dollars as a seed for micro lending,” said Jefferson. “So with all of that, we believe that will begin to set the stage for African American businesses to at least have seed capital, or continuation capital.”

Another request from the group is for the local governments to re-do their MWSBE disparity studies to include the most recent years.

Jefferson says accurate and up to date data is vital to ensure funding is being allocated correctly.

At Saturday’s event, the Chamber also looped in the university community, hearing from the Presidents of FSU, FAMU, and TCC.

Elected officials including Mayor John Dailey, Mayor Pro Tem Jeremy Matlow, City Commissioner Curtis Richardson, and County Commissioner Nick Maddox were present.

Jefferson says he hopes the town halls can serve as a “re-examination” of where Tallahassee is as a community.

He says the group is planning to host them every six months.

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