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Chambers partner on Minority Business Accelerator program

Staff Report //October 30, 2019//

Chambers partner on Minority Business Accelerator program

Staff Report //October 30, 2019//

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The Greenville Chamber of Commerce is partnering with the Anderson and Spartanburg chambers of commerce to broaden the scope of the Minority Business Accelerator to the Upstate. Historically comprised of primarily Greenville-based businesses, the partnership will expand the reach of the program throughout the Upstate, according to a news release.

The Minority Business Accelerator program provides business training and development services to minority, veteran and woman-owned firms in the Upstate. Pending acceptance, businesses now qualify for the program through investment in Anderson and Spartanburg chambers. While the program has always been available to businesses throughout the Upstate, the partnership further expands access to the program, the release said.

“As a business organization it is our mission to strengthen our business community and economy so that our businesses can thrive,” Pam Christopher, Anderson Area Chamber of Commerce president and CEO, said in the release. “This program is essential to growing and strengthening our minority businesses. I believe that this program will be the centerpiece for elevating our minority businesses in Anderson County and the region.”

The Minority Business Accelerator program is one of six in the nation offered by chambers of commerce, the release said. To qualify, businesses must be based in the Upstate, socially or economically disadvantaged (minority, veteran or woman-owned, as well as those serving lower income communities), and a member of the Anderson, Greenville or Spartanburg chamber.

“According to the 2018 Spartanburg County Racial Equity Index report, only 16.6% of local businesses are minority-owned,” Allen Smith, Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce president and CEO, said in the release. “We are partnering with the Greenville Chamber in hopes of improving this statistic and strengthening local minority owned businesses which in turn will benefit all.”

Since its inception in 2013, more than 80 companies have completed the Minority Business Accelerator program.

“To better compete on a global scale, it is imperative that we take a regional approach to economic development,” Carlos Phillips, Greenville Chamber president and CEO, said in the release. “Partnering with our peers in Anderson and Spartanburg mirrors other strategic efforts, such as the Upstate Chamber Coalition, to combine our collective assets to strengthen our region. Removing barriers will expose the transformative MBA program to even more Upstate businesses.”

New in 2020 is the addition of a feeder program, produced in partnership with Greenville Area Small Business Development Center and designed to support those organizations that do not yet qualify for the accelerator program, the release said.

Applications are open until Nov. 15.