Why Support a Minority Chamber?
There is a great need to help establish small minority businesses in Kansas City, Kansas. Based on current economic and education trends, it is evident there is enormous potential for a business resource program (incubator) to expand its role, by participating in community economic development within the context of emerging as a catalyst to bring business services for minority business entrepreneurs' and women business entrepreneurs (M/WBE) to the forefront.
Research confirms that during the past fifteen years there have been many changes in our nation's economy. These changes have been felt in many of the local economies across the nation. Employment growth has shifted from manufacturing to services. Small businesses account for much of the job growth in the United States. Yet start-up businesses have a failure rate of 80 percent during their first four years of operation. With increased importance placed on small firms, the reduction of this failure rate has become the focus of many developers and federal programs. Minority chambers offer one method for reducing this high failure rate.
The Kansas City Black Chamber of Commerce was founded by Mr. Leroy Tombs in 2004. Tombs gained prominence as the owner of Tombs & Sons, which held federal contracts to provide food and maintenance services for military bases throughout the country. The Kansas Black Chamber (KBCC) is committed to developing and strengthening black businesses in the State of Kansas. It is the goal of KBCC to provide resources to connect new and existing business to resources that promotes prosperous growth; growth that enables us as individual owners, and as a chamber to support our community.
In 2005 the KBCC officially opened and hosted a Grand Opening with over 500 businesses and community participants in attendance.
Membership within the chamber has grown to approximately 200 members with 40% plus registered as minority and disdvantaged business. In May 2012 the KBCC gained national support by becoming a member of the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc Daily the KBCC provides leadership with national support through urban business enterprise, procurement and construction contracting, professional development, employment training, workplace guidance and leadership development.
On September 28, 2012 the KBCC launched the Urban Business Enterprise Center (UBEC). The UBEC is an incubator program dedicated to the development and of M/W/DBE in Wyandotte County and in Kansas City, Kansas.
In 2013, the KBCC became a Workforce Investment Act provider for the State of Kansas which delivers industry specific workforce training in the areas of customer service and construction.
On April 28, 2015 the KBCC made a significant move to become a regional chamber and announced its new business name, the Heartland Black Chamber of Commerce. Heartland Black Chamber serves Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas.
With a new name and brand, national connections, and state affiliations, we can further our efforts of nurturing minority business and putting people to work that are otherwise unemployed.