African American Business Association

Opening new doors, developing future entrepreneurs, strengthening skills, and expanding networks.
The African American Business Association is a collaboration and vision that has now come to fruition between the Chamber and community members. These individuals from the community approached the Chamber with a need for the formation of a business focused group to serve African American owners, managers, employees, and individuals.

The overall focus of the new group will cover four main topics including Business & Economic Development, Job Readiness, Professional Development, and Networking / Special Events. The main drive is to open new doors, develop future entrepreneurs, strengthen skills, and expand networks.

We strongly believe that the African American Business Association will carry on the tradition of respected sub-groups and deliver quality programs and events. The Mission of the this group is as follows: “To advocate for the creation, growth, and general welfare of African American businesses throughout the Joliet Region, while fostering economic development in the African American communities.”

We will host a monthly (excluding December) Business After Hours networking event on the THIRD Tuesday of each month from 5:00 to 7:00 PM at a local organization. Check the Chamber calendar for updates

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July 22, 2020 Video Conference with Mark Ferguson from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)

Thank you to Mark for sharing a wealth of information and for a great, interactive, and enlightening presentation of the following information: 

  • Paycheck Protection Program
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loan
  • Bridge Gap Loans
  • Debt Relief Programs
  • 8 A Contracting Opportunities

Make sure to click the button below for the full video recording.

Here are two useful documents that share the slides that Mark went through. You can contact him at mark.ferguson@sba.gov or 312.353.5430

Small Business COVID-19 Assistance PPP Bridge Loans_Training

Small Business COVID-19 Assistance_EIDL PPP Bridge Loans_Training

May 19, 2020 Video Conference with Matt Simpson, African American Business Development Manager from the Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity

Thank you to Matt from the DCEO Office of Minority Economic Empowerment for sharing information about the numerous resources they have to offer including: 

  • Advantage Illinois Loan Program
  • Advancing Development of Minority Entrepreneurship Program
  • Cannabis Social Equity Loan Fund
  • BEP Resources – Certification and Opportunities

Make sure to click the button below for the full video recording.

April 28, 2020 Video Conference with Kevin Lynch from Joliet Junior College Small Business Development Center (SBDC)

Thank you to Kevin from the JJC SBDC office for sharing information about the numerous resources they have to offer existing businesses and those looking to start soon. 

Here is a quick review of the session: Video Conferencing Notes-Kevin Lynch Small Business Adviser at JJC.

Make sure to click the button below for the full video recording.

Interested in Joining?

If you are interested in joining the following volunteers and promoting your business while aiding the chamber

Call or email
Michael J. Paone, IOM
Vice President
(815) 727-5371 -or- mpaone@jolietchamber.com

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African American Business Association

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