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Revive Black Business Summit connects entrepreneurs to capital, resources & opportunities

“This was the best and most informative business summit event that I have ever been part of,” said Chef Wilson Calixte, owner of Le Voltaire French Restaurant, one of Omaha’s top restaurants.

“What’s happening in Omaha is the prototype for the nation,” said George Fraser, CEO of FraserNet, the PowerNetworking Conference and member of the National Black Business Hall of Fame. “Join this local and national Network, keep building and stay the course.”

Fraser is known across the world as one of the top experts on building highly effective and productive networks.

He joined Dr. Pamela Jolly, a nationally recognized thought leader on wealth building and a strategic advisor for business accelerators, as keynote speakers for the virtual Revive Black Business Summit.

Both Jolly and Fraser, along with other nationally known Black business leaders and entrepreneurs, have agreed to join the Revive Black Business Network Board of Advisors and to extend special offers to its members.

The Business Summit was hosted on Saturday, January 15th by Willie and Yolanda Barney, co owners of Revive Omaha!, Revive Center and Carver Legacy Center.   2022 marks 14 years since they launched Revive Magazine and 9 years since they formed the Revive Black Business Luncheon.  January 15th also marked the 93rd birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“We have talked for years about launching the formal Business Network, but put it on hold as we worked on other community projects and businesses,” said Willie Barney.  “We believe now is the time to move forward and build on and expand our local and national partnerships.  To launch the Business Network on Dr. King’s birthday is incredibly significant.  2022 will be a breakthrough year.”

Jolly kicked off the Summit with an insightful presentation on the State of Black Business, emerging opportunities on the national level and the importance of working together.

“My research shows the benefit of building wealth together and elevating the standard of how we do business,” said Jolly.  “We need to be prepared for the current and future opportunities.”

If the response from attendees is any indicator, the Black Business Network is an idea whose time has come.

“The experience was absolutely amazing and very informative.  It was like I stumbled upon a high-level business master class led by owners and subject matter experts that were so willing to share their personal best practices and success strategies,” said Tim Clark, CEO of Clark Connection Group.

Clark also delivered a powerful message of his own during a session on Effective Networking.  “Be intentional.  Be credible.  Build trust.  Listen.  Listen.  Listen.”

“The information presented was extremely valuable for business owners,” said Marcella Dial who attended along with her husband, Howard.  “We got started with our business, but felt stuck.  This event helped us to see ways to move forward.”

The Summit featured some of Omaha’s most successful Black business owners and entrepreneurs.

Carmen Tapio, CEO of North End Teleservices, has grown from 0 to 400 employees in just over five years.  She shared her journey and how she overcame initial rejections from banks to secure the funding she needed to expand.  Tapio said she is aiming to create jobs for 1,000+ and continue changing lives through her business. She also encouraged attendees not to give up.

Candice Price, a serial entrepreneur including co-ownership of Home Team Auto Sales and Sapphire Grill, offered insights on generating multiple streams of income and highlighted the services available through the new non-profit she leads, Grow Nebraska.  “Having multiple streams of income was a blessing for us during the pandemic as we had to put our food truck in storage.”

Richard Webb, probably best known as the former CEO of the 100 Black Men and current CEO of the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Midlands, shared his experiences as a successful business owner and real estate investor with his firm, Abundant Living.  “You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars attending seminars, it is possible to make money by investing in real estate.  Develop relationships.”

Gladys Harrison, owner of Big Mama’s Kitchen and Catering, spoke about being innovative and reinventing your business in the midst of challenges.  With most Black businesses struggling and 41% closing during the pandemic, Gladys reported that 2020 was their best financial year in the history of the company as they expanded on partnerships.  “It was the partnerships that allowed us to grow when others were closing down.”

Calvin Jones, CEO of Lions Gate Security, shared some best practices for establishing relationships and doing business with corporations and public entities, including some of Omaha’s largest organizations.  “Persistence.  You can’t be afraid to knock on the door and keep knocking.”

“What I experienced at the Summit was powerful, educational and dynamic,” said Bridget Hadley, Economic Development Manager for the City of Omaha.  “The depth of experience among all of the panelists makes Omaha and our community rich.  The exchange of information and nuggets of wisdom shared were practical, yet invaluable, and ready for implementation.”

“It was incredibly inspiring to hear from these successful business owners,” said Yolanda Barney.  “Being in business, especially during a time like this, can be challenging and you can feel isolated.  This let’s you know that you can still move forward and staying connected is vitally important.”

That is one of the main goals for formalizing the Revive Black Business Network.  The group keeps businesses connected, shares information about resources and opportunities, identifies funding sources and provides a platform to communicate successes and best practices.

In addition to business owners and entrepreneurs, the speakers and panelists on the summit included a wide range of service providers and support organizations available to assist with information, access to credit and capital, training and technical assistance.

BC Clark – Nebraska Enterprise Fund, Candice Price – Grow Nebraska, Manne Cook – Spark Capital, Bridget Hadley – City of Omaha, and Ernest White – Carver Legacy Center all highlighted different forms of funding including grants, loans, TIF and equity.  All of the organizations also offer training and special events.  Karine Sokpah, founder of the Midlands African Chamber also highlight opportunities for entrepreneurs to win $10,000 through the Pitch Black competition.

“When we started the Revive Black Business Network, we wanted to make sure business owners and entrepreneurs knew what resources and opportunities were available to them,” said Willie Barney.  “We have updated the Roadmap to Entrepreneurship in Omaha and we will have a consistent location for these activities to happen at the HUB inside the Carver Legacy Center and also at the Revive Center Markets.”

Two other sessions focused on helping businesses to get prepared with a solid foundation.  Malinda Williams, financial advisor with MVEST Partners shared tips for getting personal and business balance sheets in order.

Martine Quartey, owner of Advance Tax Solutions with 20+ years of experience, walked participants through key aspects needed to manage taxes professionally.  “Too many business don’t handle their taxes correctly, but we can help them build a solid foundation.”

Dr. Martin Williams of Martin Williams International and DreamKeepers focused on existing business owners and presented key concepts he has used over the years to help businesses scale.  “Creating successful businesses is about culture.”

The final session included specific opportunities to do business with corporations and public entities.  Winsley Durand from the Greater Omaha Chamber/REACH, Gerald Kuhn from the City of Omaha and Cameron Gales of Jacobs Construction all provided valuable contacts and pathways to  get in the door.  James Wright from Congressman Don Bacon’s office also discussed ways the office could be helpful.

“I thought the meeting was excellence in motion.  So much good information and resources within our own community,” said Sophia Jordan, owner of Black Bottom Biscotti.  “I am inspired to keep going and do business on purpose within our own community even more so.”

Fraser who closed the day off with a powerful keynote and an extended “post conference” session, emphasized some final key points.

“We can create jobs, build our communities and prepare the next generation,” said Fraser.  “If you do not have a system, you do not have a business.  What is your system?  What is your promise?”

He added, “We must connect, grow and prosper so we can learn, earn and return. Omaha has the opportunity to show the way.”

It was the perfect ending to the Summit. Creating moments like this on a consistent basis is one of the main goals for the Business Network.

“When do you ever have an opportunity to have George Fraser, a living legend, on a live zoom for an hour personally answering questions and sharing his experiences and insights?” said Calvin Jones.

The Revive Black Business Network will host meetings, summits, workshops, luncheons, conferences, expos and other events throughout the year.

The Black Business Summit was hosted by Revive! Omaha, Revive Center and Carver Legacy Center.  The virtual event was managed by RealQuick Solutions.

Learn more about the Black Business Summit here.

Community Features

Free Lead Testing in East Omaha

SPONSORED CONTENT

Lead is a naturally occurring metal that is often found in soil, paint produced before 1978, older pipes, toys and even food. When it enters the body, its effects can be toxic, causing neurological and developmental damage and effecting organs, such as the lungs and kidneys.

When it comes to lead, there is no safe level.  Children are particularly susceptible to lead poisoning, as their bodies absorb higher concentrations of lead than adults.  This can cause permanent damage to their cognitive and physical development.

  • Due to historic lead air pollution deposits, the eastern part of Omaha is designated as an EPA Superfund site. Therefore, properties located in this site are eligible for free soil sampling and testing.
  • If the concentration of lead in the soil exceeds the EPA’s threshold, the City will perform free remediation of the soil.
  • Properties that meet these criteria are eligible for an assessment of the exterior for lead-based paint. If lead is found, a free paint stabilization will be done.

The City of Omaha has set up an easy-to-use website where Omaha residents can check to see if their property was tested for lead and remediated.  Results from soil tests can also be found at the website: www.omahalead.org.

For more information about lead in Omaha and links to other programs available for residents to help keep their family safe from lead, go to www.gotlead.org or 402-731-3045.

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Coming Events

Magic Johnson returning to Omaha Sept. 30th for 10th Annual African-American Leadership Conference

Published:  Friday, September 2, 2022

Earvin “Magic” Johnson, five time NBA champion and one of the world’s leading business executives, entrepreneurs and philanthropists is returning to Omaha to keynote the Empowerment Network’s 10th Annual African-American Leadership Conference on Friday, September 30, 2022.

Tickets are now available at AALCOMAHA.com

“This is incredibly exciting for us,” said Willie Barney, CEO and founder of the Empowerment Network.  “Magic’s visit in May was absolutely amazing.  Many in attendance said it was one of the best speeches they’ve ever heard and I agree 100%,” said Barney.

“His message was extremely relevant and resonates will all ages…career advancement, leadership, teamwork, generational wealth, investing in our youth and community-building.”

“He has also proven that businesses can be highly successful in urban communities and he has demonstrated leadership in the areas of diversity, equity and inclusion.”

Johnson has been a champion at every level.  He is best known for his legendary performance on the basketball court.  He and the Lakers transformed the NBA in the 80’s with a new style of basketball.  The showtime Lakers dominated with one of the greatest lineups of all time.

Beyond the basketball court, Magic is still making headlines.  As he puts it, Earvin is building a legacy through developing urban communities, business and sports team ownership and investments in advanced technology.

“After thinking and praying about who should be our speaker in September, ‘Run it Back’ was in my spirit.  Bring Magic back to build on the themes from May and deliver a new message to help accelerate our progress over the next 10 years,” said Barney.  “Our board president, Timothy Christian, reached out to Magic and his response was overwhelmingly positive as he loved his experience in Omaha.”

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to have Mr. Earvin “Magic” Johnson back in Omaha for the 10th Annual African-American Leadership Conference,” said Christian.  “Mr. Johnson embodies everything we stand for at the Empowerment Network.  He is a proven leader on and off the court and he cares deeply about helping African-Americans and the underserved across the country. We’re looking forward to the wisdom he will share during the conference.”

“In addition to the seasoned and emerging leaders from all sectors, we also want more of our high school and college students to hear the message and we will have specific sessions for them as well,” said Barney.

The African-American Leadership Conferences promises to be even bigger and better.  In addition to Magic Johnson, the Network will feature four national keynote speakers, dozens of local leaders and experts.

National strategist and partners, Dr. Will Moreland – Using Your Gifts for Career Advancement and Creating Multiple Streams of Income; Suzan Hart – Rewriting Your Story to Live with Purpose; Dr. George Fraser – Building Strong Businesses to Create Jobs and Thriving Communities; and, Dr. Pamela Jolly – Using the Wealth Checklist to Build Legacy Wealth.  They along with others will present from the main stage and host breakout sessions.

       

Local speakers will include: Veta Jeffrey, CEO of the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce; Jay Warren-Teamer, Director of Diversity and Inclusion – Blue Cross Blue Shield; Aaron Austin, Chief Human Resources Officer – CHI Health Center; Dr. Cheryl Logan, Superintendent of Omaha Public Schools; Raquel Henderson, Pathway Coordinator – Metropolitan Community College and dozens of others.

Plus, representatives from 10 regional and national cities looking to replicate the Empowerment Network collective approach will be in attendance.

The conference will also feature a full scale Revive Black Business Expo including dozens of Omaha’s Black business owners, innovators and entrepreneurs.

“As one of the original members of the Empowerment Network and a person committed to the success of our community, it has been amazing to see the progress we have made,” said John Ewing, Vice President of the Board.  “I’m excited for the future of our great city and future collaborations with leaders like Earvin “Magic” Johnson that will help us continue this great transformation.”

Current major sponsors include:

Platinum
CHI Health
ConAgra Brands

Gold
Union Pacific
American National Bank

Bronze
Children’s Hospital
Wells Fargo
University of Nebraska at Omaha

Get your tickets locked in today:  www.aalcomaha.com

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NEWS

Aug. 27th…Revive Black Business Summit…Maximizing Technology

We’re building capacity and momentum.  How can you maximize technology to grow your business?

Please use these links to learn more and register.

Learn More Here

Register Here

The next Revive Black Business Summit will be held Saturday, August 27th from 8:00 am to 10:30 am. It will be in-person and virtual.

We’ve had a great response with the first three summits with over 125 Black businesses, entrepreneurs and support organizations participating.  Let’s keep building together!

The location for the in-person event will be the Revive Center.  Breakfast and Networking will start at 8:00 am.

Please use these links to learn more and register.

Learn More Here

Register Here

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