Beyond the Rhetoric
By Harry C. Alford & Kay DeBow
The National Black Chamber of Commerce® is dedicated to economically empowering and sustaining African American communities through entrepreneurship and capitalistic activity within the United States and via interaction with the Black Diaspora. The National Black Chamber of Commerce® was incorporated in Washington, DC in March 1993.
The NBCC is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, nonsectarian organization dedicated to the economic empowerment of African American communities. One hundred and forty affiliated chapters are locally based throughout the nation as well as international affiliate chapters based in the Bahamas, Brazil, Colombia, Ghana, Kenya, France, Botswana, Cameroon and Jamaica and businesses, as well as individuals who may have chosen to be direct members with the national office.
The NBCC presents its Action Plan. Purpose of the Action Plan: To ensure that the national office of the National Black Chamber of Commerce is equipped and prepared to execute programs and initiatives that will support the Mission of the NBCC.
Mission: The purpose of the Chamber shall be to teach capitalism and expand access to capitalization, technical support, procurement opportunities, effective networking, and sharing of information for Black-owned businesses and other minority-owned businesses, as well as the African descendant community. The main vehicle of disseminating information concerning this purpose is through the Black chambers located throughout the United States and the entire Black Diaspora and via mass marketing. The activities are driven by a strategic plan. The Chamber is nonprofit, nonpartisan and nonsectarian and abides by the rules set forth via IRS 501(c)3 classification. The items or projects that will be incorporated in these actions will be:
- The National Office will publish and distribute the status of Black procurement levels by each federal agency. These reports will come out twice a year – first half of the Fiscal Year and the whole Fiscal Year. The first report will be presented at the upcoming 27th Annual Conference, July 24 – 27th, 2019, in Atlanta, Georgia.
- Review Public Utilities’ Plans which are managed by the General Service Administration. The publication is GAO/GGD-93-44. This covers every utility company in the United States. The intent is to improve the performance of Black contracting activity amongst our utilities including telecoms.
- Monitor and report on the DBE activity of the 5 Department of Transportation Modal Agencies: Federal Highway Administration (by state), Federal Transit Authority, Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Railroad Administration, U.S. Coast Guard.
- Enforce Section 3 of the HUD Act – 24CFR Part 135. This procurement program for the underserved has been in effect since 1968 but has yet to attain adequate enforcement. The NBCC will attempt to change this lack of performance.
- Enforce Executive Order 11246. We will work particularly with the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. Union related construction activity is in dire need of improvement.
- Provide a Consultancy Service which specializes in diversity in contracting for specific projects.
- Improve Capital Access for our membership by working with the SBA via monitoring their 7a lending on a quarterly basis. Also, review programs of MBDA and other programs by various banking institutions.
- For corporations conduct a Title VI review (Civil Rights Act of 1964) on an ongoing basis.
- Monitor Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) activity per key cities, counties and states. Alert our federation when opportunity or improvements are necessary and coach them for improvement. Note: CDBG must be compliant with Section 3 of the HUD Act.
- Assemble and moderate a 50 nation (at least) International Policy Roundtable. This organization will officially meet during our Annual Conference beginning in 2020. Basically, they will be comprised of national chapters of Black chambers throughout the African Diaspora. This group will decide on venues for upcoming trade missions which will be held at least once per year.
- Form an Annual Conference Selection Committee. This group will set criteria and develop an RFP for localities to compete to become a venue for upcoming conferences.
- Formal Board Retreats: The Board of Directors of the NBCC will have one formal retreat each calendar year. It is here where we will rate our performance and retool our vision for the following year.
- Form a Fundraising Committee: This small, select group will develop strategy and work through public relations and sales to generate a stream of revenue for the NBCC to carry out its Mission and reinforce its brand. The individuals working on this committee will be funded through a commission from the proceeds they collect.
The NBCC presents this Action Plan. Our purpose is to ensure that the national office of the National Black Chamber of Commerce is equipped and prepared to execute programs and initiatives that will support the Mission of the NBCC. This is a living document. Suggestions are welcomed and will be considered as they are received.
Mr. Alford is the Co-Founder, President/CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce. Ms. DeBow is the Co-Founder, Executive Vice President of the Chamber. Website:www.nationalbcc.org. Emails:halford@nationalbccorg firstname.lastname@example.org.