Did you read this edition of Chicago Street Journal (CSJ)? It hit the streets in February and with the headline story "The Charge of Chicago Black Genocide" and it is still circulating throughout this city's communities. Call 773-595-5229 to be in the NEXT edition.
12 February 28 - March 13, 2018 W e’re digging into the first quarter of 2018 & the Illinois Black Chamber of Commerce is in full swing & maximizing our relevancy! The landscape of pro-Black business advocacy in Illinois has growing &we welcome all of the potential agents of change to the playing field. We trust that discerning professionals recognize the genuine article & will continue to trust us to strengthen the Black business community & move their agenda’s in realtime. We’re proud to be regarded as the archetype for state structured chambers & here’s how we’re going beyond the rhetoric to move the pro-Black business agenda: Leadership from our Banking & Financing Industry Group recently hosted a summit with Executive Directors & leadership from major banking institutions as well as microlenders, the Federal Reserve & the FDIC to lay the groundwork for a more enhanced pathway for Black businesses to access capital. In that session, we shared & received some critical data that clearly points to “lack of capacity” as the true bane of the Black business community & Black communities in general. The vast majority of the 145k Black business in Illinois don’t have the capacity to employ more than 1 or 2 employees! Put that into perspective as pundits celebrate the “record low unemployment rate” for Blacks & may turn into a farewell toast. Unfortunately & as usual, the numbers are alarming but it’s critical that we understand what this really means for the future of Black communities. Advocacy is job #1 for the ILBCC & this is a big year for Illinois politics, as the gubernatorial race heats up culminates this November. It’s critical that we understand where that candidates & our align or intersect. This year’s annual Lobby Day in April promises to be a prime day for affirming our agenda with all of our legislative counterparts. We typically bring a couple hundred supporters, but this year we plan to bring 300 or more strong, sharp Black businesses & entrepreneurs along with us to the Capitol in Springfield. Afterwards, we’ll share in great food & even greater networking at our reception gala. Our Banking & Financing team is making realtime impact & so are the rest of the Industry Groups. The newly formed Sports & Entertainment group, chaired by acclaimed film, television, and stage actor Harry Lennix (The Blacklist, The Five Heartbeats, 24), is Mr. Larry D. Ivory Founder, President/CEO “The Chamber Report”, quickly positioning to become a major force in their space. Our Healthcare Group is busy laying out the rich tapestry of opportunities in that space & all of our industry groups are fine tuning their cross pollination platforms to heighten continuity & deliver unparalleled service to our base & constituency. We continue to strengthen our affiliate chambers throughout the state with “top down” agenda & grassroots initiative energy. We’re consistently engaging, informing & educating our base on all of the relevant aspects of the pro Black business agenda. Academic initiatives such as the “Move to the Center” campaign, the “Crystallizing Our Agenda” lecture series & our community accountability programming help to further adjust the frame of reference and our “Business Afterhours” offer powerful networking with premier firms & individuals with every session so we look forward getting you & your business connected to those opportunities. We don’t stop there though. The Chamber’s partnership with the Illinois Tollway is stronger than ever with the newly established Technical Assistance Program (TAP) kicking off in Rockford last fall & we continue to impact Chicago & Waukegan. The purpose of the program is to assist minority owned road building companies and vertical construction contractors in becoming Tollway Bid ready. We help them begin to bid and win Tollway work and successfully navigate Tollway projects from bid to completion. If you’re in either of those locations, don’t hesitate to utilize our service & take advantage of the opportunities. We also have great corporate partners, like Ameren-Cilco, Illinois American Water & many others who are serious about diversity & deliberate about inclusion so it’s our pleasure to get you connected. That’s only the tip of the iceberg cutting through the surface. As we dive deeper, we can see that civic leaders are beginning to pitch state economic development officials on designating tracts of their communities as Opportunity Zones. A little-noticed section in the $1.5 trillion tax cut that President Trump signed into law late last month is drawing attention from venture capitalists, state government officials and mayors across America. The provision, on Page 130 of the tax overhaul, is an attempt to grapple with a gaping hole in the recovery from the Great Recession and the fact that, in huge swaths of the country, the economic recovery has yet to Chicago Street Journal T HE I L L I N O I S B L A C K C H A M B E R OF C O M M E R C E arrive. The law creates “Opportunity Zones,” which will use tax incentives to draw longterm investment to parts of America that continue to struggle with high poverty and sluggish job and business growth. The provision is the first new substantial federal attempt to aid those communities in more than a decade. If the zones succeed, they could help revitalize neighborhoods and towns that are starved for investment. In regard to net neutrality, it’s widely accepted that the internet must be free and open, that all data and traffic must be treated equally, and that internet companies shouldn’t be able to censor or unfairly restrict what we do online. While the FCC’s order changes how these principles will be enforced, it’s becoming clear that the internet will remain free and open and not become the dystopian Wild West some advocates have claimed. The ILBCC recognizes that a free and open internet is vital for small businesses, and is not threatened by the FCC plan to modernize broadband regulation. At its core, the FCC action simply restores the same proinvestment, pro-innovation policies that governed the internet in its early years, when revolutionary services like eBay, Facebook, and Google first got off the ground. Critics Actor Harry Lennix Chairs IlBCC Sports and Entertainment committee On October 4 , 2017, the Illinois Black Chamber of Commerce publicly announced the formation of a newly developed Sports and Entertainment Committee. The Committee was formulated to create an avenue by which celebrities and those close to the entertainment and sports industry could help promote the message of the chamber, while simultaneously utilizing the chamber’s network to grow their own personal projects and promote their brands. The board currently consist of Chair Harry Lennix, actor NBC’s blacklist, co-chair, Chama St. Louis, public relations specialist, J. Alexander Martin, cofounder of FUBU and creator of AFashionMind, the Voice Competitor, Tony-Boyd Cannon and singer, Acot Bryce Wilson have both been invited to be apart of this committee. Continue on page 13 From the Streets to the Suites The Federation of Black Organizations A Federation that has over 50 members, including; but not limited to; Allied American Workers Laborers International Union. Founding members ( Pictured l to r), President Tom Harris; Illinois Black Chamber of Commerce, President, Larry Ivory; Regional Vice President, Illinois Black Chamber of Commerce, Vincent Gilbert. This Team defeated, AFL- CIO Legislation that would have harmed Black Construction Workers, and Black Construction Contractors . I L B C C 4 1 1 H a m i l t o n B l v d . S u i t e 1 4 0 4 P e o r i a , I L 6 1 6 0 2 P h o n e : 3 0 9 - 7 4 0 - 4 4 3 0
Chicago Street Journal February 28 - March 13, 2018 13 Chicago has seen several bank closing in the last decade. Three Black owned banking institutions have closed since 2007, including Seaway Bank (2017); Highland Community Bank (2015); and Covenant Bank (2013). Twenty years ago the Chicago had ten black owned banks. There’s a saying that goes, ‘you won’t miss the well ‘til the water runs dry.’ That saying still rings true with the closing of Seaway Bank and Trust. For five decades, it was one of Chicago's two remaining African-American-owned banks. Other local black-owned banks—Covenant Bank on the West Side and Highland Community Bank on the South Side, for example— have failed to plug capital holes and failed. With $101 million in assets, Illinois Service Federal Savings & Loan founded in Chicago in 1934 to serve communities that have historically been underserved by traditional financial institutions. It has struggled to stay afloat, and was fortunate to find a rescuer. The failure of Illinois Service would have left the African American community with no black owned financial institution due to the closing of Seaway Bank. Longtime CEO Norman Williams, who first was introduced to the elder Nduom in 2013 as he was searching for new bank investors, has retired from Illinois Service. The CEO now is Robert Klamp, a veteran Chicago-area community banker who's run lenders focusing on minority neighborhoods like International Bank of Chicago and Pan American Bank. As Illinois Service, tracing its Bronzeville roots to the Great Migration, Earlier this year the financial institution completed a sale to a Ghanaian-American family. It has been saved from failure with a $9 million equity infusion that will keep it under black ownership. ISF has made mortgages and small-business loans for decades founded in 1934 by 13 Bronzeville business leaders who saw the need for a bank to provide credit to African- American migrants from the South. The new owners are members of the Nduom family whose patriarch, Paa Kwesi Nduom, 63, was one of the first African- American partners of Deloitte & Touche, working in Milwaukee, before relocating to Ghana in West Africa in the 1990s. There he invested in hotels and other enterprises, eventually turning the family's disparate holdings into Groupe Nduom. Groupe Nduom employs more than 3,000 in Africa, Europe and North America and has investments in industries including financial services, media and entertainment, sports and real estate. His sons, P.W. Chiefy Nduom, managing the family's investment in Illinois Service. Their father is the bank's chairman. “We think (keeping ISF black-owned) is a “The Chamber Report”, BOP members, Dr. Murphy, with Greg Brown president of Southside Community Federal Credit Union, Ro Davis and Revin Fellows have committed to being a major strategic partner to strengthen SSCFCU critical point,” said Chiefy Nduom, 34, who serves as vice president and general counsel of Groupe Nduom. “We all know race matters in America. It's not a colorblind society. Everyone is impacted by race in one way or another.” “A concerted effort must be undertaken to improve the environment for all banks, but specific steps must be taken to help African- American Banks. We must look at successful banks to find what works. The Nduom brothers say no big changes are expected for 12 to 18 months as they look to cure the lending ills cited by the regulatory order. Illinois Service Federal Savings & Loan, outgoing CEO Norman Williams, left, with new chairman Paa Kwesi Nduom. Treasurer Summers announced a $20 million deposit into ISF. Contribution to Black History since 1933 The brothers hope soon to upgrade the bank's technology to allow for more mobile banking and make the institution more attractive to younger customers. Seaway was a financial oasis, a proud historical banking institution that the south side community supported. Recently, its operations permanently shut down. Seaway was initially taken over by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation Division of Banking and the FDIC, the bank’s 10 branches were officially owned by the State Bank of Texas. The Federal Deposit of Insurer Corporation (FDIC), noted that in September 2016, Seaway Bank had more than $301 million in total deposits and more than $341 million in total assets. Seaway opened in 1965 and it was the largest Black-owned bank in the U.S. According to an ABC news report, it was the last Black-owned bank in Chicago. President of State Bank of Texas, Sushil Patel, confirmed ownership of Seaway Bank. He said, “This is our third acquisition, so our team is experienced in working closely with customers through their transition. Plus, one of our earlier acquisitions was in the Chicago market, so we already have a presence here. As a minority and family-owned bank, we have similar roots as Seaway. We look forward to a prosperous future.” City Treasurer Kirk Summers announced a $20 million deposit into ISF, Treasurer Summers made this announcement at ISF’s main office King Drive and 47th Street, just blocks from where Treasurer Summers was raised. He was joined by community leaders, small business owners, and elected officials, i n c l u d i n g C o n g r e s s m a n B o b b y Rush, Alderman Roderick Sawyer, and Alderman Pat Dowell. In his remarks, Treasurer Summers underscored the importance of keeping local dollars in local communities, driving a positive cycle of economic development that leads to more jobs, more amenities, improved services, and better lives for ourselves and for our children. However, ISF is not the only Black operated financial institution in Chicago. On 54th and Wentworth far north of the corner of Washington Plaza sit Southside Community Federal Credit Union (SSCFCU). SSCFCU) is a not-for-profit, Federally chartered, low-income designated, community development credit union CDCU). SSCFCU serves a membership base of 2,000 with $3.5 million in assets after opening its doors in November, 2003. SSCFCU was created to economically empower the community by providing an alternative to currency exchanges, payday/predatory lenders and banks that charge high fees. Greg Brown president of SSCFCU said, “When you join the credit union, you become am ember owner, not just a customer. Your account is an investment in the community.” Ro Davis of BOP indicated his organization BOP Project 5000 goal is to strengthen and build SSCFCU “Our vision must be bigger than our frustrations! We've already lost Seaway Bank...we can't afford to lose this one. BopProject5000 is committed to being a major strategic partner to this institution. Gregg Brown we appreciate your commitment to our community.” Safiyyah Muhammad major contributor to the story (Continued from page 12) who hide the ball and refuse to debate the real downsides of overregulation and government micro-management should be scrutinized. Our Information Technology Industry Group keeps our organization & constituency dialed into the relevant issues & poised to take advantage of the prime opportunities in that space. We encourage you to learn more about all 10 of our Industry groups & how they can positively impact you and your business! The Illinois Black Chamber of Commerce has been invested in the future of Black Enterprises and Black communities for over 20 years & we’re still going strong. Grow with us! Mark your calendars now for the ILBCC2018Convention in August & the 21st Annual Central Illinois Black Expo in September! Remember, If you’re not at the table, then you’re on the menu. Join us at the table! Visit ILBCC.org for more information.