News Release
City Services

July 18, 2014

Desiree Rogers Set as Keynote Speaker at Chicago's African-American Small Business Expo

More Than 40 Government and Non-Profit Agencies to Offer Resources and Networking Opportunities to Entrepreneurs and Established Businesses at South Shore Cultural Center

Mika Stambaugh    (312) 744-5365

The City of Chicago Small Business Center on the Road series is gearing up for the African-American Small Business Expo with keynote speaker, Desiree Rogers, CEO of Johnson Publishing and former White House Social Secretary for President Barack Obama. The free expo will take place on Saturday, July 19, 2014, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 S. South Shore Drive, Chicago.

The City of Chicago’s Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection’s Small Business Center, the Office of New Americans and Western Union have partnered with local chambers of commerce to present the Small Business Center on the Road series. The expos are free and open to the public, and offer business education and resources and an opportunity to network with important stakeholders in the community

“The Small Business Center on the Road series brings opportunities directly into a community for new and established businesses to prosper and grow,” said Commissioner Maria Guerra Lapacek of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection. “Not only are we bringing an abundance of resources, but we are excited for Desiree Rogers to offer her uncanny business expertise to all attendees.”

“As the CEO of an iconic African-American business based in the City of Chicago, I strongly support opportunities where we can all collectively convene, network  and discuss ways we can leverage each other,” said Rogers.  “The City of Chicago recognizes the importance of supporting small, African-American businesses and we are happy to host this group in our great city.”

The event offers premiere resources and networking opportunities for entrepreneurs and established businesses. The SBC on the Road Series provides a one-stop location within targeted communities to promote small business growth and expansion within the City of Chicago. 

During the expo, entrepreneurs and business owners will be able to consult, network and gather information from more than 40 government and non-profit agencies, which will provide information about licensing, taxes, finance, business planning and much more.

Throughout the three-hour event, the Center for Economic Progress will provide a free tax clinic. Representatives will provide 20-minute consultations. Space is limited to 21 appointments, and times can be scheduled by calling 312.744.5504.

At noon, Abraham David Lacy, of Far South Community Development Corporation, will moderate a panel discussion called “Microlending: A Great Tool for Business Growth and Development.” The panelist will include Commissioner Jamie Rhee of City of Chicago Department of Procurement Services, Melinda Kelly of Chatham Business Association, Teyonda Wertz of South Shore Chamber, Inc., Gus Issacson of Central Lakeview Merchants, and Adrian Soto of Eighteenth Street Development Corp.

Also at noon, Cheryl Pearson-McNeil, SVP, U.S. Strategic Community Alliances and Consumer Engagement, of Nielsen will present the workshop “Keeping Small Businesses Relevant by Understanding Your Consumers.”

The City of Chicago’s Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection’s Small Business Center, the Office of New Americans and Western Union have partnered with local chambers of commerce to present the Small Business Center on the Road series. The expos are free and open to the public, and offer business education and resources and an opportunity to network with important stakeholders in the community. For more information about the expo series, visit www.cityofchicago.org/SBC.


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