Membership spikes in Shreveport-Bossier African American Chamber of Commerce after pandemic

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SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) — The Shreveport-Bossier African American Chamber of Commerce has seen a spike in its membership following the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to SBAACC, through April 30 the organization has added 50 new members and corporate partners.

Member benefits include free headshots, networking opportunities, Lunch and Learn events, small business coaching, cash mobs, social media promotion, free job postings on the SBAACC’s website, business listing in the SBAACC directory and website, ribbon cutting ceremony, member-to-member discounts, and corporate partner deals.

The next Lunch and Learn: How to Do Business with Municipal Government will take place at 12:15 p.m., Tuesday, May 25 at The Office Hub on 331 Milam St. in Shreveport.

The City of Shreveport Fair Share Department, Parish of Caddo, and Caddo Parish Schools will be represented at this event. The Lunch and Learn is free to members and $15 for non-members.

These Lunch and Learns are extremely important to boosting small businesses. A new data report from tax prep service H&R Block suggests Black-owned businesses took the biggest hit during the pandemic.

A survey of almost 3,000 small businesses found that 54 percent of Black business owners saw their revenue drop by half compared to 37 percent of White owners, since the pandemic started.

Executive Director Billy Anderson said, “We have a variety of new members including some new restaurants and financial services companies that have joined SBAACC. We are seeing local, small businesses bounce back from the pandemic and some open their doors for the first time. We’ve had the pleasure of participating in four ribbon-cutting ceremonies in the last several months.”

Anderson said many Black-owned businesses did not quality for the first round of government relief funding. However, more Black-owned businesses were able to participate in the most recent round of government funding and are receiving the help they need.

To learn more about the SBAACC, visit www.sbaacc.org.

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