AUSTIN – The Texas Association of African American Chambers of Commerce (TAAACC) will host Black Business Day at the Capitol on Friday, March 31, 2016. As in years past, the organization will use the forum to highlight the disparity in contract awards to Black-owned businesses and offer solutions to state procurement officials.
“Despite the fact that last year the State Legislature was not in session, over 200 business owners from around the state attended,” said TAAACC President Charles O’Neal. “Since that time we’ve actually lost ground in state contract awards, but we’ve gained the critical support of Governor Abbott for our efforts to improve the situation.
“Last year Governor Abbott brought welcoming remarks to our attendees,” said TAAACC Chairman Christopher Herring. “Governor Abbott has been open and responsive to our concerns and has kept his economic development team engaged with us as we work toward solutions to increase business opportunities. We expect he will attend this year and assure business owners of his commitment to make the Texas economy work for all businesses.”
The day will begin with a welcome at the newly installed Texas African American History Memorial on the south lawn of the Capitol grounds prior to the opening ceremony in the Capitol Auditorium. State agency procurement staff and HUB team members will man exhibit booths both before and after the morning’s program in the auditorium. Following lunch in the Legislative Conference Center, attendees, to include the Alamo City Black Chamber of Commerce, will be treated to a special presentation from Houston-based Unity National Bank, Texas’ only Black-owned bank.
“The volume of state spending in construction is unprecedented,” said O’Neal. “We expect that our members from around the state will benefit from the relationships they will form during Black Business Day at the Capitol activities.”
State Senators Royce West and Borris Miles, State Representatives Yvonne Davis, Ron Reynolds, Barbara Hawkins-Gervin, James White, and Eric Johnson are among Texas Legislative Black Caucus members expected to be in attendance. Prime construction firms who will pursue building and highway construction projects have been invited to attend and engage with TAAACC member businesses.
“Business owners from across the state are invited to Black Business Day at the Capitol. This unique opportunity to have our concerns heard at the highest levels of state government and interact directly with officials responsible for business opportunities is unprecedented,” Herring said. “We expect to double last year’s attendance and we absolutely expect that this event will set the tone for future opportunities for Texas Black-owned businesses. If a Black business has HUB designation, they should have no excuse for missing the opportunity to meet the decision makers on this important day”
For more information and to register, visit www.taaacc.org. You can see Governor Abbott's last year message below: