Celebrating National Black Business Month


7/28/20238 months ago

Small Business National Black Business Month Logo 2023

In August, the City of Cambridge will celebrate National Black Business Month. This month-long event highlights Black entrepreneurs thriving despite the unique challenges they face. Cambridge is celebrating Black Business Month to recognize the importance of Black businesses to our local community and the national economy.

The month’s events include networking and community events, trainings, and information sessions designed to support and promote Black businesses owners and provide them opportunities to connect with one another. Community members may join the celebration by supporting Black-owned businesses and entrepreneurs this month and beyond.

Cambridge’s celebration of Black Business Month is part of the Economic Opportunity and Development Division’s ongoing efforts to foster an inclusive and sustainable economy, and uplift entrepreneurs facing systemic barriers such as institutional racism. Other efforts have included updating the Business Diversity Directory, celebrating National Small Business Month, and Women’s Business Month, running workshops for emerging food entrepreneurs, and more. Black Business Month was created in 2004 by Frederick Jordan and John William Templeton to uplift and celebrate Black businesses through the unique and enormous challenges they face. Cambridge began celebrating Black Business Month in 2021 in partnership with Cambridge-Somerville Black Business Network, Cambridge Local First, and the Sustainable Business Network.

Schedule of Events

Please check back as events will be added throughout the month. All events are free and open to all.

Wednesday, August 2

City of Cambridge National Black Business Month Kick-Off Event: Access to Capital, 4:30 – 6:00 p.m.

  • Location: Oggi Gourmet, 30 Dunster St, Cambridge
  • Connect with local financial institutions with nontraditional lending requirements, funding opportunities and products specialized for minority business owners. Network with fellow business owners. This catered event is open to Black business owners and anyone looking to create opportunities with current and prospective Black business owners in Cambridge.
  • Registration is preferred. Click here to register.

Wednesday, August 9

COMMBUYS Vendor Training Part 1: Info Session, 5:30 - 6:30 p.m.

  • Location: Online via Zoom.
  • Obtaining contracts from state and local governments is a great way to grow your business! Diverse business owners are invited to learn how to find bid opportunities on the state’s electronic system COMMBUYS. This information session is designed to explain how the website works and orient you to the opportunities listed.
  • Registration is required: Click here to register.

Tuesday, August 15

COMMBUYS Vendor Training Part 2: Computer Lab, 3:30 - 5:00 p.m.

  • Location: City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway, Cambridge.
  • Obtaining contracts from state and local governments is a great way to grow your business! Diverse business owners are invited to learn how to find bid opportunities on the state’s electronic system. This hands-on training is designed to teach you how to search for opportunities relevant to your business. Bring your own laptop or large tablet.
  • Registration is required. Click here to register. 

Wednesday, August 24 - Sunday, August 27

Passport to Black-owned Businesses Pop-Up

  • Location: One Brattle Square, Cambridge.
  • Hours: Wednesday - Saturday 12:00 - 6:00 p.m. Sunday 12:00 - 5:00 p.m.
  • Support local Black owned businesses by shopping this pop-up! This is the fifth passport event facilitated by Nicola Williams of The Williams Agency and sponsored by the Sustainable Business Network of MA (SBN) and Cambridge Local First (CLF).
  • No registration required. Free and open to all!

Thursday, August 24

Mass SDO Info Session, 9:30 - 10:30 a.m.

  • Location: Online via Zoom. 
  • Is your business minority-owned, LGBTQ+ owned, disability-owned, veteran-owned, or woman-owned? Learn about the importance of becoming a certified vendor by the Commonwealth of Mass’ Supplier Diversity Office (Mass SDO). SDO certification is a marketing tool that can help your diverse business stand out in contract bidding. Although certification does not guarantee successful bids, it can add a competitive edge to diverse firms seeking contracts with the government and large companies or institutions.
    • Registration is required. Click here to register.

Thursday, August 31

Mass Supplier Diversity Office Pre-Certification Workshop Watch Party, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m

  • Location: City Hall Annex – 344 Broadway, Cambridge.
  • Join us for a watch party on becoming certified with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Learn more about the importance of becoming a certified vendor and get access to the application to start the process. Light fare will be served.

Registration is required. Click here to register.

 

For more information

For questions or more information on events, please contact Allyson Allen at aallen@cambridgema.gov or 617/349-9122.