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Published:  Tuesday, June 28, 2022

The June Revive Black Business Summit was very inspiring and informative.

60+ Black business owners, entrepreneurs and support organizations participated in the hybrid – in person and virtual event hosted by Willie and Yolanda Barney of Revive Omaha Magazine, Revive Black Business Network, Revive Center and Carver Legacy Center.

The monthly summits provide an opportunity to gain knowledge on important topics, meet specialists in each area, hear from business owners who excel in implementation, network with other entrepreneurs and get connected with resources and opportunities through the business exchange.

Building Multiple Businesses

Luper Akough, CEO of Clout Enterprises, provided insights on launching and scaling multiple businesses.  His key points including building effective systems, understanding timing, investing in yourself, finding partners and hiring the right people were incredibly helpful.

Akough and his wife, Brittanie, are known as innovators and serial entrepreneurs with over 100 employees.  Luper shared their goal of creating 450 new employees over the next five years.

Keys to Raising Capital

Timothy Christian, CEO of Night Fox Entertainment, shared his valuable experiences with raising capital for films and entertainment projects.  Those in attendance appreciated the core elements that he outlined:  Integrity, Intelligence, Passion, Partnerships, Idealism and Pragmatism, and Surrounding Yourself with the Right People including an Attorney and Accountant.

Christian has his corporate headquarters in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska and maintains an office in Los Angeles, California.  His company’s sweet spot is raising capital for $10 million films.

Opportunities Created by the North Omaha Recovery Plan

State Senators Justin Wayne and Terrell McKinney provided an update on their work to gain approval of $330 million in state funds for North and South Omaha, Lincoln and other qualified census tracts in Nebraska to support entrepreneurship, business development and job creation.

They informed the group that most of the work for implementation will be conducted through the Department of Economic Development.  They emphasized the need for businesses to be prepared for the opportunities and community engagement meetings are coming soon.

The Nebraska Department of Economic Development has created a page to stay updated on the opportunities with the North Omaha Recovery Plan. https://opportunity.nebraska.gov/programs/recovery/

Tax Increment Financing

Bridget Hadley, Economic Development Manager for City of Omaha, provided an overview of TIF and the process used to determine what projects might qualify.  Participants have a greater understanding of how it works and ways that our businesses and real estate owners can get engaged and maximize this financial tool.

TIF can be used as leverage by developers to attracting additional funds and financing.   Smaller and large development projects are eligible.  Hadley is available to support large and small projects and encouraged the attendees to reach out to her.

Equity Investments

Dr. Martin Williams, CEO of Martin Williams International and DreamBusiness, walked the group through the opportunities created by being open to equity investments.   Entrepreneurs should consider what’s possible when teaming with others and allow investors to have a stake in our businesses.  Williams also shared insights on having a buyout plan and selecting the right partners.

Williams and his wife, Lynnell, have helped dozens of businesses with scaling from self-employment to multi-million dollar enterprises.  They hold real estate investments locally and internationally and partner with the Barney’s with the Carver Legacy Center.

Business Loans

Ernest White, 1st Vice President of American National Bank and Ambassador for Carver Legacy Center and Jim Reiff, Executive Director of Nebraska Enterprise Fund, shared practical and real examples of loans and resources available through the Carver Legacy Center and Nebraska Enterprise Fund.

The Carver in partnership with American National Bank has assisted 30+ businesses and another 25 are in the pipeline.  Nebraska Enterprise Fund has made loans to hundreds of businesses in Omaha.

The most recent approval includes Roll-N-Sweetz, the new rolled ice cream shop which was opened by a 17 year old entrepreneur at 60th and Ames. Carver and Nebraska Enterprise Fund both supported the business financially.

Stay connected.  

The next Revive Black Business Summit will be held on Saturday, July 23rd and the topic will be Maximizing Technology to Grow Your Customer Base and Increase Profits.  More information coming soon.

Black business owners and entrepreneurs are invited to become formal members of the Revive Black Business Network and experience the outstanding benefits associated with this group.  Build your social, cultural and intellectual capital.

Willie and Yolanda encourage attendees to continue doing business with each other and supporting Black entrepreneurs.  The Revive Black Business Guide features hundreds of Black-owned businesses in Omaha.  Revive Black Business Guide

And, join the Carver Legacy Center movement.  Go to Carver Legacy Center to open your account, apply for a loan, sign up to receive training or develop your plan for building wealth.

Community Features

Great opportunity to support Black Businesses at Christmas in the Village

Get Ready to Shop, Play, Eat, Sing and Enjoy!  

70+ small businesses, organizations, ministries and artists have teamed to make this the largest and best ever!  

Black-owned businesses located in the Historic 24th and Lake District are ready to serve you during the 12th Annual Christmas in the Village!

  • Styles of Evolution
  • Revive Center Omaha
  • Revive Store
  • Ital Vital Living
  • Fair Deal Marketplace
  • Divine Nspirations
  • Still Poppin Gourmet Popcorn
  • D-Marie’s North 24th Street Beauty Supply
  • Haberdash ONE
  • This and That Boutique
  • Rooted Synergy
  • Juanita’s Creations
  • Snkrr Haven
  • Carver Legacy Center
  • Omaha Star

Plus, The Holiday Boutique returns in a new location under the BIG TENT at 24th and Lake.  The Boutique will feature over 20 vendors with beautiful and unique products.

Vendors under the heated tent include:

  • Black Bottom Biscotti
  • She So Hollywood
  • The Love Movement
  • YanantaKe’s Apotheracy
  • Kreative Ways
  • Zuri and Me
  • Still Poppin’ Gourme
  • Queen Sparkle Diva
  • Brilliant and Resilient
  • Fashionably Late
  • Sonya’s Diva Boutique
  • It’s Not a Game Apparel
  • Moss Lady
  • Simply Fab Luxury
  • Mommy and Me Scents
  • Tory’s Signature Teas
  • On the Go
  • Islasimone Candles
  • Water Rocks Publishing
  • Super Bros
  • Yass Beautiful

Mobile Food Trucks with TASTY menus will also be available!

  • Smokin Guns
  • Haven Express Omaha
  • Soco Cafe
  • Boiling Claws 

Major sponsors for Christmas in the Village at 24th and Lake include:  American National Bank, Mutual of Omaha, Douglas County Visitors Improvement Fund, Nebraska Arts Council, North Omaha Turnback Tax and Veridian Credit Union.  Media sponsors include KETV and Revive! Omaha Magazine.

The Christmas in the Village partners want to remind the community that street closures will take place at the following major intersections beginning at 10 am: 

  • 25th to 22nd and Lake Street
  • 24th & Maple to 24th & Burdette Street

Streets will reopen @ 5:30 pm.

Christmas in the Village is part of the on-going re-establishment of an arts, culture, business and entertainment district at 24th and Lake envisioned in the North Omaha Village Revitalization Plan facilitated by the Empowerment Network, OEDC and community partners over 11 years ago.  It has served as one of the major catalysts for the development occurring in the historic 24th and Lake district.

 

 

 

 

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Community Features

Empowerment Network & partners present 12th Annual Christmas in the Village at 24th & Lake

Tis the season to join in the holiday spirit at the 12th Annual Christmas in the Village at 24th and Lake on Saturday, December 3rd from Noon to 5 pm.  

The Empowerment Network and Omaha Economic Development Corporation in partnership with dozens of community partners are inviting residents to attend this one-of-a-kind cultural community celebration and holiday tradition.

Christmas in the Village is the largest holiday event in North Omaha and draws thousands of visitors from the region to the historic 24th and Lake district each year.  Attendees have come from as far away as Lincoln, Kansas City, St. Louis, Minneapolis and other cities.

The event will kick-off at noon with the Burke High “Marching Bulldogs” Drill Team followed by Santa and Mrs. Claus on a horse-drawn carriage.  “We encourage the community to come out early and line 24th Street for a special kick-off with the drill team, Santa and Mrs. Claus and all of our cartoon characters,” said Vicki Quaites-Ferris, Director of Operations for the Empowerment Network and Event Manager for Christmas in the Village.

Get ready to Play, Sing and Enjoy!  There will be plenty outdoor activities for children and adults, including:  holiday music featuring local recording artists, choirs and dance groups; live nativity scene including a camel; free carriage rides; free toys, gifts and candy while supplies last; face painting; balloon artist; cartoon characters; interactive games and activities, handmade pottery; and, much more.

Some of the Omaha’s top artists will perform again this year:  Millicent Crawford, Gus McNair, Chad Stoner, Eric and Doriette Jordan, Jarron Taylor, Big Wade and Ed Archibald, The Arvies and Kathy Tyree.  Hope Community Choir and Pear Tree Performing Arts will also sing and dance.

Come ready to Shop and Eat!  Businesses located in the district will offer special discounts and holiday items for sale.  Styles of Evolution, Ital Vital Living, Fair Deal Village Marketplace, Divine Nspiration and others.

Plus, The Holiday Boutique will return this year with over 30 different vendors showcasing unique merchandise.  Vendors will serve the community under a heated BIG TENT on the corner of 24th and Lake.  Food trucks and local restaurants will have food for purchase.

“We’re excited to bring back the Holiday Boutique, which has always been one of the most popular attractions,” said Aisha Conner, manager of the Village Empowerment Center and coordinator of the Christmas in the Village Holiday Boutique.  “We have some amazing vendors that you will want to check out and support.”

Get Ready to Shop, Play, Eat, Sing, See and Enjoy!  70+ small businesses, organizations, ministries and artists have teamed to make this the largest and best ever!  

Major sponsors for Christmas in the Village at 24th and Lake include:  American National Bank, Mutual of Omaha, Douglas County Visitors Improvement Fund, Nebraska Arts Council, North Omaha Turnback Tax and Veridian Credit Union.  Media sponsors include KETV and Revive! Omaha Magazine.

The Christmas in the Village partners want to remind the community that street closures will take place at the following major intersections beginning at 10 am: 

  • 25th to 22nd and Lake Street
  • 24th & Maple to 24th & Burdette Street

Streets will reopen @ 5:30 pm.

Christmas in the Village is part of the on-going re-establishment of an arts, culture, business and entertainment district at 24th and Lake envisioned in the North Omaha Village Revitalization Plan facilitated by the Empowerment Network, OEDC and community partners over 11 years ago.  It has served as one of the major catalysts for the development occurring in the historic 24th and Lake district.

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Community Features

Atlanta Congresswoman Nikema Williams visits North Omaha

Williams was elected to serve in the district formerly held by the late legendary Congressman, John Lewis

While in Omaha, Williams stopped by Pleasant Green Baptist Church led by Pastor Brian Page for morning services, attended a rally to support congressional candidate Tony Vargas and was the keynote speaker for a luncheon sponsored by the Nebraska Democratic Party and Team Vargas on Sunday, October 30, 2022.

Williams emphasized the importance of voting and mobilizing others to vote.

“Tell your family, friends and everyone you know to get out and vote.”

Specific to Nebraska, Williams encouraged voters to support the $15 minimum wage, reject voter ID and vote for candidates that support health care, voting rights and economic advancement for all.

Her primary message was democracy is not a spectator sport. Everyone must use their voice.

“Your vote is your voice,” said Williams. “This is a vitally important time in our country. Nebraska is a crucial state. That is why I am here. You cannot sit this one out.”

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