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Veta T. Jeffery
Heartland Black Chamber of Commerce
St. Louis Economic Development Partnership
University of Missouri-St. Louis
If you’re an entrepreneur or small business owner in the 24:1 Community, there are a lot of people in your corner, pulling for your company to succeed.
An online forum on Wednesday, Oct. 7, highlighted four local organizations that offer comprehensive resources for information, support, and connections. During the workshop “24:1 Small Business Survival Kit,” sponsored by Beyond Housing and MU Extension, the organizations welcomed small businesses to reach out and learn more about how they can help them survive the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’ve lost some businesses that we did not want to lose,” said Veta T. Jeffery of the Heartland Black Chamber of Commerce. “Those that are still here, we are FIGHTING for you!”
The Heartland St. Louis Black Chamber of Commerce
- Connects Black customers and businesses with each other via a robust online directory.
- Grows the pipeline of African-American entrepreneurs.
- Helps Black-owned businesses stay operational, especially during the current time.
- Offers online information about business conferences, COVID-related support, and more.
- Has a “barter and build” section on its website for businesses that are short on cash and can offer a trade for what they need.
The St. Louis Economic Development Partnership
- Provides relief to small businesses, specifically in the North St. Louis County Promise Zone (including Normandy Schools Collaborative) and in the Lemay area in South St. Louis County. There is still funding available, especially for sole proprietors. Applicants must be up to date on their county taxes, but repayment plans can be worked out.
- Connects small businesses with local loan and grant opportunities to address immediate needs.
- Helps businesses explore possibilities for expansion.
The Missouri Small Business Development Centers (SBDC)
- Helps small businesses be successful and sustainable.
- Offers business planning, financial modeling, procurement, market research, industry information, and more.
- Sits down for one-on-one counseling with startups, business owners, and company executives.
- Develops financial projections, provides analysis, and addresses growth and competitiveness.
- Helps clients prepare and understand income statements, balance sheets, and sales projections.
- Provides education, training and workshops on topics ranging from starting a business to bookkeeping to utilizing economic incentives and disaster assistance.
- Partners with other organizations to offer certification trainings.
- Connects small businesses with mentors (starting in January 2021).
- Works on special initiatives such as international trade assistance, financial literacy, back office assistance, and funding consultation.
The University of Missouri-St. Louis
- Connects with local businesses for contracting and purchasing.
- Provides resources through the MU Extension programs as well as the UMSL campus.
- Offers a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Accelerator for a select number of businesses by application only.
- Provides digital tips and guidance for small businesses, including a digital marketing certification.
- Operates the Missouri Procurement Technical Assistance Centers.
Here’s the complete recording of the “24:1 Housing Rights and Resources” virtual workshop.