New alliance aims to lift up Black-owned businesses in Metro Detroit

‘We will do everything in our power to ensure that Black businesses thrive,’ Charity Dean says

New Alliance aims to lift up Black-owned businesses in Metro Detroit
New Alliance aims to lift up Black-owned businesses in Metro Detroit

DETROIT – Black-owned businesses often face unique challenges getting off the ground.

A group of business owners are banding together to face those challenges head-on. They’re doing it with a $1 million commitment from TCF Bank.

“We’re here to change the game for Black entrepreneurs,” President and CEO of Metro Detroit Black Business Alliance Charity Dean said.

It’s a partnership between a group of Black business owners and the Detroit NAACP. Dean said they formed the group to address the challenges Back businesses are facing -- especially during the COVID pandemic.

“Structural and systemic racism has plagued our country since its founding. It has created an unequal wealth gap, lack of access to capital resources,” Dean said.

TCF Bank committed $1 million and a 5-year partnership to help support. Dean said because of that money they can provide programming and support services for Black businesses around Metro Detroit.

“We will provide opportunities for mentorship and networking through our Black directory. We will strategically encourage the spending of local dollars in the Black business community. We will operate a business resource center in our office where our members can have free access to internet and coffee and a boardroom and a co-worker space. But above all, we will do everything in our power to ensure that Black businesses thrive,” Dean said.

Clement “Fame” Brown, the owner of 313 Clothing Store, said the organization is needed.

“Growing up in the city as a Black man, Black boy in the city, you know, working through all of the stereotypes and generalizations. You don’t have that support. You know, you don’t have the backing. You definitely don’t have a bank to get a loan from. We need each other and we need to support one another and we need to be genuine on what that looks like,” Brown said.

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About the Author:

Larry Spruill Jr. joined the Local 4 News team in January 2018. Prior, he worked at WJAX in Jacksonville, Florida. Larry grew up as a military kid because his father is a retired Chief of the United States Air Force.