This is the crucial time on the legislative calendar when decisions are being made about how the multi-billion-dollar state budget will be divided and funds appropriated. On Feb. 16, “Black Entrepreneurs Day at the Capitol” will once again bring hundreds of Minnesota’s Black small business owners to the Capitol to raise their voices, flex their collective political muscle, and remind legislators of their constituency.
The event is presented by ShelettaMakesMeLaugh.com, the small business founded by podcast entrepreneur Sheletta Brundidge.
“Every major company and special interest has a lobbyist at the Capitol to make sure they get their fair share,” Brundidge said. “Again this year, Black Entrepreneurs Day will turn small business owners into lobbyists so that our needs and issues are represented—by us.”
The Feb. 16 event builds on the success of last year’s event that brought 400 Black small business owners to the Capitol to request funding for programs that will benefit them and spotlight the stubborn historical barriers to their success.
Brundidge encourages all Minnesota Black small business owners and their allies to attend this one-of-a-kind event, which will again include one-on-one meetings with elected leaders, legislators, and policymakers.
The bridge building accomplished through last year’s event proved fruitful. At the session’s end, Gov. Tim Walz credited the political push from Black Entrepreneurs Day with funding several programs that strengthened and offered funding for minority-owned businesses.
They will also be able to connect and network with the four premiere local organizations that are sponsoring the event.
“We are acutely aware that access to resources and funding for business owners is not the same for everyone. The American dream is more available to White Americans, and that needs to change,” said Nancy Lyons, CEO of Clockwork, a Minneapolis-based design and technology consultancy that is one of the sponsors of Black Entrepreneurs Day.
“Clockwork is committed to supporting Black entrepreneurs and the work that Sheletta is doing to bring attention and support to our BIPOC community,” added Lyons.
Comcast, which sponsored the inaugural Black Entrepreneurs Day last February, will again sponsor this year’s event.
“Comcast loves supporting the growth of small businesses and entrepreneurs that share our commitment to uplifting their local communities and driving economic growth. We are honored to once again be part of Black Entrepreneurs Day at the Capitol,” said Comcast Senior Vice President Kalyn Hove. “This special day offers the opportunity to listen to our business community and align on how we can better support them to drive future successes.”
Northwestern Mutual and AARP MN have also stepped up as sponsors for Black Entrepreneurs Day at the Capitol.
“We appreciate this opportunity to stand with small business owners in our community and hear firsthand about their setbacks and accomplishments,” said Cathy McLeer, AARP MN State director. “We are excited to work together to reach common shared goals.”
One Black entrepreneur will receive a financial windfall. Each business owner who attends will be eligible to win a no-strings-attached gift of $5,000 from Brundidge to use to strengthen their business in any way they choose.
“Black Entrepreneurs Day at the Capitol” in St. Paul is scheduled for Feb 16. The rally in the Rotunda begins at 11:30 a.m. Participants will meet with elected officials and legislators at noon, followed by a complimentary lunch for all in The Vault at 2 p.m.
Register to attend at ShelettaMakesMeLaugh.com.
This information was provided by ShelettaMakesMeLaugh.com.