Bill Johnson (right), Executive Director of the Urban Economic Development Association (UEDA), recognizes Will Allen, CEO of Growing Power Inc., at UEDA’s 15th annual meeting. Allen was honored for his efforts to provide equal access to healthy, high-quality, safe and affordable food for people in Milwaukee and communities across the nation.
Associated contributed $25,000 to the African American Chamber of Commerce (AACC) of Greater Milwaukee Revolving Loan Fund Program (RLF). The AACC Board, with seed funding from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), has established a revolving loan fund to make capital accessible and provide quality technical assistance to the African American business community.
WEDC provided $100,000 seed money to the RLF that will be leveraged into a matching fund to help start the RLF Program with an initial total of $200,000 in capital. With Associated’s $25,000 donation, the RLF will be able to support eight start-up or expansion businesses to create positive and proactive business climate that will energize the local economic capability to create or retain up to 15 to 20 jobs, generate tax revenues and buildup wealth.
“The African American Chamber of Commerce and Board of Directors are thrilled about Associated Bank’s leadership in empowering communities of color by supporting the establishment of Revolving Loan Fund services in our chamber,” said Dr. Eve M. Hall, president and CEO of the African American Chamber of Commerce. “This partnership will enable us to assist our business owners in securing loans critical to their growth and sustainability. The strength of African American-owned businesses means increased employment and educational opportunities for the citizens of this city and state.”
The AACC will put policies, procedures and technical assistance in place so the loan fund becomes a self-sustaining operation that revolves many times for the benefit of our community. The organization will also build the program’s technical assistance capacity to provide pre-loan and post-loan technical and administrative support to loan applicants and borrowers.
“Since its inception, Associated has had a rich tradition of providing superior financial services to the communities in which we do business,” said Nate Goudreau, Associated community reinvestment act director. “Our hope is that through this program, we will continue to foster stronger, more stable communities that will ultimately lead to a more positive future for us all.”
The AACC-RLF is the first of such funds focused on serving the African American business community in Wisconsin.
Associated bank is proud to partner with the AACC to support economic growth and thereby grow the number of viable minority businesses that will be available to compete in the Wisconsin market.
(Los Angeles Times)
Newlyweds are still saying “I do” to big wedding spending despite the bad economy.
The newly betrothed spent an average of $25,500 to $27,000 on their big day last year, not much less than the $28,000 they shelled out in 2007, according to a new report.
Spending on gowns, venues, food and, yes, liquor, all have held fairly closely to pre-Great Recession levels, according to the analysis by ConvergEx Group in New York.
“Love, apparently, conquers all – even tough economic times,” according to the report.
That’s not to say that couples aren’t cutting back on some items. They’re earmarking less for rehearsal dinners, forgoing bands in favor of lower-cost DJs, and winnowing the guests.
And the high cost of the average ceremony may be masking some emerging trends in weddings.
The report points out that the number of U.S. marriages continues to drop, to 2.06 million last year from 2.21 million in 2007. That’s due partly to sociological factors but also may reflect couples postponing the big day for financial reasons.
Also, parents, relatives and friends are chipping in more toward wedding costs, with 51 percent of couples acknowledging assistance from Mom and Dad (or their in-laws), according to TheWeddingReport.com.
“While the dress, the cake and the bar always may be lavish, don’t expect a nice party favor at the end,” according to ConvergEx. “In fact, you might not expect to get an invite at all.”
New York, NY (BlackNews.com) — With the alarming and still growing social, economic, and health disparities in the Black American community, one might think it’s too overwhelming to take on such an enormous responsibility of trying to overcome them. Fortunately, one young lady had the foresight to say, “There is still opportunity to reverse the negative trends impacting the Black American community. We shall continue to overcome.”
Four years ago, as President Obama embarked on his first year in the White House, Sonja McCord was working tirelessly to develop a pageant system that would serve as a social enterprise and an enrichment program – a program that would create a new generation of promising Black leaders. Her solution: the Miss Black United States Program.
Officially launched, the Miss Black United States Program is a cultural, enrichment program which seeks to provide social leadership, development, and charity through an institute of learning. “We are creating a new generation leaders who are problem solvers, accomplished, and polished, while servicing those who are in need. The concept is simple, empowering others while empowering ourselves,”says McCord. The program will train leaders and provide them with the support to achieve their educational, professional, artistic, and community ambitions.
Every year, 51 young women will be educated in advocacy, leadership, beauty, elegance, self-development, entrepreneurship, and fitness – the skills and qualities that make up the quintessential beauty queen. The program distinguishes itself from other pageants because it first provides the enrichment program via the Miss Black United States Program, second, the ability to showcase what they’ve learned via the Miss Black Untied States Pageant, and third, the resources to put those concepts into practice for an entire year during their reign as Miss Black United States or their respective state queen.
In 2013, the organization will inaugurate the first Miss Black United States National Pageant, culminating the conclusion of a rigorous enrichment program and celebrating the accomplishments of 51 innovative, experienced, and empowered leaders. Entry into the competition begins with an online competition launched July 22nd. The program is open to natural born females ages 20-35 who have at least 25% African lineage and identify themselves as Black American. Applications for the national preliminary competition are open through the official website, www.missblackunitedstates.com, and require a small fee of $150.
“The Miss Black United States Program exists not as a means to exclude non-African American citizens…”It is a cultural organization created to solve America’s most pressing problems that directly impact the Black American population. The program seeks to reverse negative trends, celebrate Black beauty, empower young leaders, and work to overcome social, health, and economic disparities in the Black American community. Simply stated, “…Tackling Black American issues and strengthening the Black American community will help reinvigorate America, overall. This is a new spirit of patriotism,” remarks Sonja McCord.
For more information, visit the official website at www.missblackunitedstates.com or email [email protected]