Civil Rights Groups Partner To Assist Small Business Owners

 Small business owners learned first-hand how to grow and improve their companies. The Jacksonville Urban League, NAACP Florida State Conference, the Jacksonville Branch of the NAACP, SCLC-Jacksonville Chapter and the National Association of Black Women in Construction teamed up to host an educational workshop this past weekend. More than 55 new or soon-to-be entrepreneurs attended the Economic Empowerment Seminar: A Game Changer for Small Business Owners. The Urban League’s Entrepreneur Program provides free professional coaching, financial/credit literacy education and technical assistance. Deborah Thompson, program coach, facilitated the workshop. The goal was to provide small business owners with resources that will lead them to success. Small businesses are the pulse of America’s economic and employment health. “They learned that small businesses are important and that they (small business owners) need to take responsibility for being a part of that importance. They have to focus more and look globally at their own business to see that it is bigger than themselves,” said Thompson. “I would like to see them take action whatever it might be. Write that business plan and write it with the help of some of the coaches at the Urban League. Do it right. If you do it right the first time, it will come out right.”

Participants heard from Congresswoman Corrine Brown (FL-Dist.5), Jacksonville City Councilwoman Katrina Brown (Dist. 8) and other local business owners about accessing resources at the national, state and local levels. It was all about connecting small business owners to business opportunities. “The next step is to utilize different resources that were provided. Call your local council person, call the different places that are right there in your reach and actually access them to find out, to let them know what your needs are,” said Terri B. Jones, owner of TJ and TJ Insurance Agency. The entrepreneurs learned the importance of networking and about finding alternative financial sources to help them succeed. They also received expert advice such as know your industry; keep up with the paper work; and build credit for your company.

Through the Entrepreneur Program, small business owners receive one-on-one counseling and attend group training sessions. They learn how to gain access to capital and about marketing techniques, leadership development and accounting. This is just another way the Jacksonville Urban League continues to empower communities and change lives. Small business owners or those looking to start a business in Duval County and surrounding areas are eligible to sign up now for the Entrepreneur Program. Call the Jacksonville Urban League at (904) 723-4010 or log onto www.jaxul.org to schedule an appointment or get more information. Entrepreneurs are encouraged to utilize the free services. Pictured are small business owner panelists: P. Leon King, K-WAM Financial Solutions; Jackie Perry, Project Consultant, Small Business Defense and Veterans Initiative- A Program of Florida 8 (a) Alliance; Anthony Ammons, Combined Industries, LLC; Sorella Dorn, Argent Company, LLC; Tracy Irvin, Team One Services; Samuel Flagg, Cleanmaster Services, Inc.; and Calvin Payne, BITS Technology Institute.

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