At Tuesday’s work session, the Fort Worth City Council received a report on 2018-19 economic opportunities and successes from the Fort Worth Metropolitan Black Chamber of Commerce (FWMBCC) and the Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (FWHCC).
The FWMBCC’s efforts in economic opportunities are divided into five sections: Economic development strategies, small business development, Minority and Women Business Enterprise, assisting Visit Fort Worth, and collaboration/broader scope.
The review for the FWHCC featured the organization’s Five Pillar Concept, which includes objectives, initiatives, scholarships, community, and partnerships.
“Both organizations are a big part of our strategic planning and business development efforts,” Fort Worth Economic Development Director Robert Sturns. “I’m also pleased by the increased level of cooperation that is occurring between our minority chambers and our downtown chamber.”
The president and CEO of the FWMBCC is Devoyd Jennings. The president and CEO of the FWHCC is Anette Landeros, beginning her term this year as John Hernandez stepped down.
FWMBCC Economic Development Manager Darryl Brewer presented the highlights, which include 60 participants in a capacity building incubator program when the goal was 50. Also, they almost doubled an attendance goal of 35 for educational service classes by bringing in 60.
An incubator program advancing he FWMBCC’s work with MWBE at various levels drew 30 participants with a goal of 20.
On the third Wednesday of each month and nine months out of the year, the FWMBCC host “Chamber Day,” community based luncheon. They reach out to inform the community of current economic development opportunities.
The FWBCC also provides a Plan Room in which representatives of small businesses can pull up plans for any public construction project in Fort Worth, Tarrant County, and the State of Texas. The equipment in this room allows individuals to make large copies of those plans, do takeoffs, and actually do project bids.
In 2018-19, several minority-owned businesses have received major contracts. The Post L Group and Postere Construction, for example, have contracts with several
governmental entities. Also this year, Trelaine Mapp of Source Building Group repaid
his success by becoming a Title Sponsor for the FWMBCC Annual Luncheon.
The FWMBCC cooperates with the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Fort Worth Convention and Visitors Bureau in helping to attract groups to the city. Each year, in partnership with Visit Fort Worth, the Chamber hosts a luncheon to recognize individuals who have brought visitors to Fort Worth, and to encourage others to bring their conventions, conferences, family reunions and sports activities to Fort Worth. In 2019 this included a Visit Black Fort Worth Brochure, the state of black tourism, and working the Panhellenic Council.
Coming up in the spring are gatherings by Delta Sigma Theta, Alpha Kappa Alpha (April, an estimated 5,000 visitors), and the Jet Relays for Historically Black Colleges and Universities in March.
Collaborations include Evans and Rosedale Urban Village, VA Retirement Center, and other developing projects.
The FWHCC highlights, presented by Hernandez, included each of the areas they believe are the cornerstones of a productive, thriving business environment: civic engagement, economic activity, a thriving education system, quality business leadership, and diversity in leadership.
Events and initiatives in 2018 included the Fiesta, Gala and Clay Shoot; Five Pillars Lecture Series (5), Women in Leadership Series (2), BuildFW (2), SNH (Seminarios para Negocios Hispanos, educational seminars for Spanish speaking business owners),Coffee with the Chamber (monthly), Business After Hours (monthly), monthly business consultations.
There were 19 scholarships awarded in 2018 totaling $33,000.
Community partnerships last year included Cook Children’s Medical Center, Men of Color Mentoring, My Brother’s Keeper, Noche de Ciencias, Race and Culture Task Force, Habitat for Humanity, Perot Museum, and Artes de La Rosa.
Key partnerships in 2018 included the City of Fort Worth, Visit FW, FWMBCC and Fort Worth Chamber, Blue Zones, Smoke Free FW, Leader Prime, Dale Carnegie, Regional Hispanic Contractors Association, and Dallas and Irving Hispanic Chambers.
The 2019 forecast/plan includes focus areas, Be Connected Concept, Build Fort Worth expansion, initiatives, and partnerships.
Focus areas for 2019 include workforce development, building business capacity, tracking success (certification to contract), and highlighting FWHCC success stories.
The Be Connected Concept highlights building businesses, supporting education and connecting the community.
Among several 2019 initiatives are increased community involvement and presenting $45,500 in scholarships.