PRESS RELEASE – It’s a partnership founded on a strong, mutual mission: build, sustain, and promote Black and Latino-owned businesses in Albany and beyond. The new organization unites the UpState New York Black Chamber of Commerce, founded by Anthony Gaddy, and the Capital District Black Chamber of Commerce, founded by Corey Ellis – a 501c3 public charity that will become the charitable arm of the new chamber. A $350,000 donation from Business for Good will help the Albany Black Chamber expand its reach and hire staff.
“We purchased the University Club to help elevate Black and Minority-Owned businesses in Downtown Albany,” said Ed Mitzen, co-founder of Business for Good. “The Albany Black Chamber will move in first and have a permanent home there.”
“A chamber of commerce is an integral part of the economic development of a community,” said Jahkeen Hoke, CEO of Business for Good. “Albany needs an institution that caters to its Black, Latino and other underserved entrepreneurs and the business community. The Albany Black Chamber, affiliated with U.S. Black Chambers, Inc., will be a resource for local individuals and companies, as well as firms considering Albany as a place to do business.”
“The city I was born and raised in lacks real economic opportunities for people of color,” added Corey Ellis. “The Albany Black Chamber will connect individuals with the resources they need for their businesses to grow.”
“Black and Latino entrepreneurship has been overlooked in Albany and beyond for too long, imperiling the overall success of our region,” said Anthony Gaddy. “We can change that. The Chamber brings to its members: advocacy; access to capital; assistance with contracts that will help grow their businesses; training; and leverage, due to our affiliation with the U.S. Black Chambers. There’s a lot of talk about community development in our region, but it is economic development that turns neighborhoods around. I am optimistic and I am passionate because I believe it can happen here.”