Today, Mayor Jacob Frey and Council President Andrea Jenkins, kick off the City of Minneapolis’ second annual Black Business Week. This week-long event brings together residents, business owners, aspiring entrepreneurs and leaders to focus on Black economic development and inclusive economic recovery. After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Black Business Week is back with a full slate of events, including opportunities for networking, resource sharing, expert led panels, and more.
The mission of Black Business Week is to authentically amplify, celebrate, strengthen, and support Black businesses in the City of Minneapolis as we move into the National Black Business Month of August.
“Black business owners and entrepreneurs are innovating the way to recovery, and Black Business Week has become an annual staple to showcase that innovation,” said Frey. “Thank you to Council President Jenkins and all the City staff who worked tirelessly to make Black Business Week a lynchpin for progress and inclusive economic development in Minneapolis.”
“Activating cultural districts, uplifting and investing in Black businesses and connecting these businesses to programs and resources is what Black Business Week is all about,” said Jenkins. “While Black Business Week is one strategy, the work doesn’t end here. With so many of Black businesses still recovering from the pandemic, our Black businesses need all of our help.”
“I am excited to appreciate, celebrate and support our Black Businesses and entrepreneurs throughout Black Business Week and the National Black Business Month in August,” said Rebecca Fabunmi, Director of Economic Development & Policy Inclusion, Office of Mayor Jacob Frey. “In 1915, the first Black National Business League was founded. In the 1980’s entrepreneur Reginal Lewis was the first African American to build a billion-dollar company. In 2004 Black Business Month was established. This week and every day is an opportunity to be a part of building generational wealth while investing in and supporting our Black Businesses and entrepreneurs. I personally invite you to join me.”
The City of Minneapolis is committed to supporting Black business development and helping to create generational wealth for Black residents and families. Black Business Week is one step toward furthering that commitment. This week’s events will amplify the programs, tools and resources that are working well both internally and across the city, while also providing opportunities to reflect on how to improve and build upon them, and further identify and implement strategies to reduce barriers.
Earlier this year, Mayor Frey’s Inclusive Economic Recovery Work Group released their recommendations and strategies to the City for an equitable, inclusive economic recovery from the impacts of the pandemic and civil unrest of 2020. The overarching goal of their findings centered around the idea of recreating the Black middle class in Minneapolis. Throughout Black Business Week residents will see firsthand a number of ways the City and our communities are working towards that goal.