Black Business Brunch brought together business owners and resources

RACINE — There is a lot of knowledge that goes into a successful and sustainable small business: taxes, insurance, payroll, marketing, the ever-important access to capital… to name a few.

Board members of the African American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Racine

Pictured here from the African American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Racine are Treasurer Jerodd Taylor, Membership Chair & Legal Advisor Anita Cruise, Community Outreach Chair Nikki Payne, and CEO GeorgAnn Stinson. Not shown: Board Secretary Dr. Vanetta Busch, and Business Development and Education Chair Dr. LaToya Thurmond.

Melvin Hargrove, Racine County Chief Diversity Officer

Melvin Hargrove, Racine County Chief Diversity Officer, addresses the Black Business Brunch. 

Jerodd Taylor, owner of TaylorMade Wealth Management as well as a board member for the African American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Racine, had idea for an event that could bring together local black-owned businesses into one place, at one time, to discuss how to start, operate, and grow a business.

After much planning, the germ of an idea grew into the First Annual Black Business Brunch, sponsored by the African American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Racine on Sunday, Nov. 6.

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One of the most important features of the event is business owners would have access to people who had access to capital, he continued, and could participate in conversations around funding and the preparation necessary to pursue funding.

Scholarship Winners

The African American Chamber of Commerce gave out $2,500 in business scholarships, which were good for either services or classes — anything toward furthering the business knowledge and careers of entrepreneurs. 

There were also expert-led conversations on topics such as taxes, minority-owned business certification, insurance, legal, marketing and promotions.

“It was really amazing to put that level of expertise in front of them,” Taylor said.


More than 100 people attended the event, representing more than 60 businesses, and representatives from Fortune 500 companies were also in attendance — all signs of the strength of the growing Black business class.

GeorgAnn Stinson, CEO of the African American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Racine, said people are ready for something positive.

“People are craving that education they need and the energy of having everybody in one room together to network and talk to one another about their businesses,” she said.

There was a mixture of start-ups, some businesses established within the last three years, while others were well-established with more than 20 years of business experience.

“We were very excited to see that great mixture of people who showed up to the event to hear what everyone had to say,” Stinson said.

The keynote speaker was Randy Kravitz, executive director of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, along with Bobbi Tatum, owner of Rise and Grind Cafe in Milwaukee, who was a graduate the Goldman Sachs 10KSB program.

While there were panel discussions, the format allowed the participants ask questions and seek clarity.

The African American Chamber of Commerce also gave out business scholarships, which were good for either services or classes — anything toward furthering their business knowledge and career.

“Anytime I do something, it’s going to be about education,” she added. “We might have some socializing but we’re definitely going to have some takeaway.”


When Stinson founded the African American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Racine in 2019 there were no organizations that she knew of bringing together the Black business class that also served to advocate, form partnerships and bring in support resources.

The chamber is overseen by a Board of Directors who Stinson described as “absolutely fabulous.”

“Every board member is an executive or someone who owned their own business. We are familiar and understanding of what is needed for the business community,” Stinson added.

“We have a nice membership and we continue to recruit,” Stinson said. “One thing I’m especially happy about is the online business directory.”

She said since the online directory was established her “phone rings off the hook from then until now” as people discover it and take advantage of its listings.

“We’re always adding businesses,” she said.

The Chamber has also established partnerships with other organizations that support minority-owned businesses and women-owned business, such as the Ethnic and Diverse Business Coalition.

Stinson expressed her appreciation to the sponsors that helped make the event possible, including Racine County, Goldman Sachs, Johnson’s Financial Group, TaylorMade Wealth Management, State Farm, Zoë Outreach Ministries, and the Professional Women in Trades.

Mr. Isaac Woods, Co-Owner of TaylorMade Wealth Management

Black Business Brunch Moderator Mr. Isaac Woods, co-cwner of TaylorMade Wealth Management, is pictured.

She also thanked County Executive Jonathan Delagrave for his support and attendance at the event.

Next year

The feedback was largely positive.

“Everyone was really excited and wanted more,” Taylor said while adding the planning has begun for next year’s event.

Taylor said the board will be working to form additional partnerships and recruiting sponsors for a bigger and better event next year.


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