The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

April 8, 2013

Davis organizes black chamber of commerce meeting

Wants to inform businessmen of opportunities

BY JENNIFER BAILEY
Commercial-News

DANVILLE — Ward 1 Alderman Kevin Davis wants to form a local black chamber of commerce group to further assist local businesses.

He’s being joined by Champaign City Councilman Will Kyles and Pastor Thomas Miller to host an informational meeting to organize a local black chamber of commerce group.

The meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. April 15 at New Life Church of Faith, 1419 N. Bowman Ave.

“As aldermen of Ward 1, we are partnering with one of the most dynamic forces in the African-American community, our business,” Davis said through a press release.

“I encourage all black businesses in the area to attend and find out what is available to help you to succeed,” he said. “I am hoping that all our businesses throughout our city will participate in this event.”

Davis said he’s excited about the event.

He attended a state black chamber of commerce meeting earlier this year and they wanted “to keep the wheels turning” and look into forming a Danville group.

Kyles, president of the Champaign County Black Chamber of Commerce, said he’s known Davis for about four years.

The Champaign County Black Chamber of Commerce, formed eight years ago, is affiliated with the state and national Black Chambers of Commerce and exists to support networking and development among African-American entrepreneurs.

There was a statewide Black Chamber of Commerce summit earlier this year in Champaign, and Kyles said the thinking was always to have more of a presence and revive a chapter in Danville.

He said they don’t want to be an organization with just “feel-good meetings.”

The group can help African-American businessmen and women learn more about city and state opportunities for businesses.

“Small business and entrepreneurship is the wave of the future,” Kyles said.

He said maybe a business is doing great, but needs help registering with the state.

Assistance could also be sought for a business expansion, he added.

It’s important that people have access to all information, including the opportunity to bid on government or other local projects, he said.

Kyles said he’s been blessed to connect with a lot of people through the group.

The informational meeting will determine if there is interest in forming a black chamber of commerce group in Danville, Kyles said.

“Maybe they think it’s valuable,” he said.