Black Chamber holds roundtable to discuss future

Allan Younger, of Forsyth Tech Small Business Center

Black Chamber holds roundtable to discuss future
July 21
00:00 2016

The Winston-Salem Black Business Chamber of Commerce (WSBBC) is looking to grow and connect with more black-owned businesses and entrepreneurs in the area. That was the census following a small business roundtable held earlier this month.

During the July meeting held at the Enterprise Center, WSBBC member and president of the Forsyth Tech Small Business Center Allan Younger led a roundtable discussion on how the organization can grow and have a bigger impact on the community.

Younger kicked off the conversation by telling the members in attendance the main thing that prevents business success is not being knowledgeable about the resources that are available. He also mentioned lack of networking and not planning ahead as other key contributors to small business failures.

“A lot of people don’t know that there are a number of resources out there to help us,” he said. “There is no shortage in resources. That’s one of the things we need to try to do as a community, tap into those resources that are available to us.”

Next, Chamber members were asked what they thought would make the Chamber more successful moving forward.

“I know a number of things we can do to make this organization more successful,” he said. “But as the members, it’s important that your input it included.”
Entrepreneur Calvin Patterson mentioned one way the Chamber can grow and create more connections is by bartering services.

According to Patterson, bartering, a system of exchange where goods or services are directly exchanged for services or other goods without using money will help black business owners network with each other while growing their own business at the same time.

“Bartering is something that can be found at the foundation of African-American culture,” said Patterson. “As members of the Chamber, we should be planting that seed. While everyone won’t be willing to go back in the past, some people will be willing to barter.”

Patterson noted advantages of adopting a bartering system are: no money needed, both parties get what they need, and gained exposure. Disadvantages include trustworthiness of parties and setting the correct value for services and goods.

Other points made during the roundtable included more resources for administrative assistance, more exposure for Chamber members, creating larger social media presence, more social functions, and connecting with young entrepreneurs in the area. A number of people who were attending their first WSBBC meeting mentioned although there are a lot of black business owners in the area, many don’t even know the Chamber exists.

Following the roundtable discussion, WSBBC program and event chair Gloria Hairston noted that in an attempt to grow the organization, they have been working on a business spotlight project that will highlight different black-owned businesses in the area. She also invited those who are still trying to find out how to start a business to join the organization as well.

“We are looking to spread the word,” said Hairston. “If you are looking to start a business or if you already have a business and are looking to grow, the Winston-Salem Black Business Chamber of Commerce has something for you.”
WSBBC meetings are held the first Thursday of every month at the Enterprise Center, 1922 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. The August meeting will feature a presentation from Winston-Salem State University Senior Associate Dean of the College of Marketing Dr. Notis Pagiavlas. For more information, visit

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