Miami business chamber launches Black business initiative 

Miami-Dade’s largest business advocacy group is launching an initiative to boost access and opportunities for local Black-owned businesses.

The Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce announced Tuesday the creation of GMCC Unites, a program designed to increase Black membership and committee representation in the organization.

“I think there is a unique opportunity now in our country in the wake of George Floyd’s death, a call to do something more than just put out a statement — as words are not enough,” Alfred Sanchez, president and CEO of Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, in a statement.

The program aims to provide Black-owned businesses with direct access to experts, community leaders and industry-leading organizations. Founding members of the Unites program include AT&T, Bank of America, CareerSource, Florida Power & Light Company, the Miami Marlins, and TD Bank.

The Miami Herald detailed the magnitude of disparity between Black Miamians and those of other races in a recent project, Separate And Unequal. Black business leaders say promises made to the Black community to settle the 1990s Black tourism boycott largely have gone unfulfilled, and have called for greater civic response.

As part of the Unites program, existing GMCC members will be encouraged to use their status to invite a Black-owned business partner, vendor or customer to become part of the Chamber for a year at no cost.

The Chamber is also considering establishing board of director and board of trustee positions reserved for GMCC Unites participants who have a desire to be a part of the leadership of the centennial organization.

“The Chamber wants to be proactive to ensure inclusion, and we’re serious about having a lasting effect,” Sanchez said.

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