The Southern Maryland Black Chamber of Commerce just marked two years as a proponent for business growth, economic development and empowerment for African-American, community-based organizations and small businesses in Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s counties.
Since its inception, the chamber has recognized the importance of partnerships with companies like Verizon in helping small businesses understand how advanced technology solutions enable innovation in the marketplace to meet consumer demand and maximize the economic impact in our communities.
Verizon supported the chamber’s first event, which was a well-attended networking and recruitment reception where we announced our movement from dream, to concept, to action plan and then to reality. The company also assisted the chamber with our Regional Entrepreneurship and Procurement Expo at the College of Southern Maryland in LaPlata. At last year’s event, Verizon’s supplier diversity team informed attendees about how to do business with the company and met with individual chamber members to establish rapport, learn more of their capabilities and provide additional assistance.
Part of our goal is always to encourage small businesses in the region and help them realize that just because you’re in Southern Maryland doesn’t mean you can’t do big business. With the Internet, for example, the possibilities are endless. Many companies are even doing business globally. So the message we definitely try to impart is that small does not mean incapable. And, we want small businesses to start thinking years ahead, not just days or weeks.
Since the Southern Maryland Black Chamber of Commerce was incorporated in July of 2012, Tabb Bishop of Verizon has served on our board of directors. He is proof that Verizon recognizes the importance of partnering with minority businesses, including those in the Southern Maryland region, and the value they bring to the state. Bishop has played a major role in helping the chamber provide ongoing activities and information-sharing events.
I’m proud to say that our chamber is really going places quickly, and we’re building an impressive list of achievements for such a young organization. We’ll continue to create new opportunities to educate members on how advanced technology solutions transform the way business gets done and help companies operate more efficiently to manage costs and achieve a better bottom line.