ReSURGEnce 2022 conference spurs rebound of Black-owned businesses

Temperatures are dropping, but black business ownership is about to heat up thanks to Reverend Dennis Dillon. The New York Christian Times The Founder is hosting the reSURGEnce for Black Church and Black Businesses conference this Thursday, Nov. 17 and the following day, Friday, the 18th at the Brooklyn Navy Yard from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event will feature speakers such as Mayor Eric Adams, New York State Dormitory Authority Pres. Reuben McDaniel III and “New York Undercover” actor Malik Yoba.

“ReSURGEnce, as the name suggests, is really about creating an upsurge, a revival, or a restoration — a recharge, so to speak, of Black-owned businesses emerging from the pandemic,” Dillon said. “The pandemic has been deeply devastating for Black-owned businesses.

“And so this reSURGEnce conference is really about creating a new black economic renaissance. That’s really what it’s all about, and how do we work to ensure that whatever is needed, and whatever is needed to create that rebirth and how all energies and resources need to be mobilized to facilitate and create that rebirth.”

But Dillon doesn’t need a Sistine Chapel ceiling. Its canvas is the $190 billion black consumer market in the New York/tri-state area. Yet black entrepreneurship is far from commensurate with the purchasing power of the community. According to the city, only 3.5% of local businesses are black-owned. So, reSURGEnce aims to turn the tide by mentoring entrepreneurship and helping to apply for loans, government contracts, and franchise opportunities.

In August 2020, a city report found that black entrepreneurs, like most business owners, face challenges accessing capital. There was also a need for broader networks and support for customer acquisition. And they are massively opening businesses to pursue their passions. But Dillon hopes they can think even bigger.

“We sell culture, we sell cultural food, we sell cultural clothing, we cut hair — for the most part, most of the success that black businesses have endured has been culture-related,” he said. -he declares. . “And we’re just saying it’s time for us to move black entrepreneurship into the mainstream. We need to move it considerably towards the mainstream. For example, we’ve been extremely weak in New York and around the world when it comes to retail businesses.

“So we want to build more retail businesses, the challenge we’ve had in the retail space for many years, is the fact that a lot of the time we don’t own the associated real estate to retail. And in most cases, for retail businesses, to really be successful, there has to be a related property when it comes to real estate.

He adds that ownership is essential for a real claim on black communities, especially in neighborhoods struggling with gentrification like Harlem and Bedford-Stuyvesant.

“We’re not in a position where we can really claim a community like ours, because we really don’t own the community,” Dillon said. “We only live in it. Only economics can change that.
Tandy Lau is a member of the Report for America corps and writes about public safety for the Amsterdam News. Your donation to match our RFA grant helps him keep writing stories like this; please consider making a tax-deductible donation of any amount today by visiting: https://bit.ly/amnews1

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