Welcome to our inaugural newsletter! The Cambridge-Somerville Black Business Network, facilitated by Nicola Williams of The Williams Agency and sponsored by the Sustainable Business Network of MA (SBN) and Cambridge Local First (CLF), will bring together Black entrepreneurs and identify specific programs that can be developed or adopted that will help ensure these businesses survive the pandemic and thrive moving forward. This new initiative will convene and work with Black-owned businesses based in Cambridge and Somerville that are in at least one of these phases: 1) Start-Up 2) Expansion 3) Recovery from the COVID-19 Pandemic.

If you are interested in signing up to be a member of CSBBN, please fill out the form here. Membership is free and includes one-year free membership for Sustainable Business Network of MA and Cambridge Local First.
Network Happenings
Up Close with Kelley Chunn
A Black Woman's Entrepreneurial Journey

Join us for the next Cambridge-Somerville Black Business Network (CSBBN) meeting, Tuesday, November, 17, 5-6:30pm 

Kelley Chunn, principal of Kelley Chun & Associates (KCA), has been in business for close to 30 years. KCA is an award winning state certified, collaborative consultancy based in Boston that provides culturally smart strategies to promote social change with a focus on civic engagement, equity and inclusion. A thought leader, Chunn is also a speaker and a former broadcast journalist and graduated from New York University and the Simmons University School of Communications Management. Her journey has taken her from Boston to New York, to Nigeria and the White House. There she joined other community and business leaders to advise former President Barack Obama on small business and economic development. Kelley Chunn has also served as associate professor and adjunct lecturer of public relations and marketing at various schools including Simmons University and Tufts University. She lives in the historic Highland Park neighborhood of Roxbury. Kelly has been resilient, relevant and successful in her field and we are looking forward to hearing about her amazing journey as a successful entrepreneur.
Join CSBBN and our sponsors and collaborators on Tuesday, November 10 at 4:30pm for a Cambridge Town Hall on Black-Owned Businesses. We are excited to partner with the YWCA Cambridge, the Sustainable Business Network of MA, and Cambridge Local First for an important town hall on the experience of Black-owned businesses in Cambridge. Our moderator is Cambridge resident and YWCA Board member, Cleola Payne. Our panelists are: Angela Hoffman, Owner of Nüssli118; Kyisha Davenport, Employee Owner of Tanám Restaurant; Nephtaliem McCrary, Owner of Great Eastern Trading Company; and Nicola Williams, Owner of The Williams Agency. Zoom registration information is here.

This recorded conversation will be posted to CCTV's channels.
Welcome Our New Members to CSBBN
We Need Your Help to Serve You Better!
Help us serve you better! We are doing a needs assessment to gather data that would be useful in advocating for services and resources to support Black business owners in our network. Please take a few minutes to compete the CSBBN Black Business Survey. We will be using this information to inform municipalities and organizations on the best means of supporting you and your business. Any information you share with us will be anonymized and aggregated to ensure your privacy. Thank you for helping us advocate for Black businesses in MA!
Cambridge 2021 Diversity Directory

Cambridge Local First (CLF) is reaching out on behalf of the City to encourage eligible businesses and entities to sign up to be listed in the 2021 Cambridge Business Diversity Directory. Entry in the directory is free and determined by the eligibility criteria linked in this post. If you meet the eligibility criteria, we encourage you to sign up to list your business or entity using the City’s online form here. The Cambridge Business Diversity Directory lists businesses and entities owned by women or minorities, including people of color, LGBTQ+ owners, veterans, persons with disabilities, and business owners of Portuguese descent. It’s intended to celebrate and highlight the diverse, independent and locally owned small businesses, entities, and sole proprietors whose place of business is in Cambridge. Starting in May 2021, the Cambridge Business Diversity Directory now includes non-profit entities offering goods and services for a fee to the public. Check out the linked post here for more information!
Money, Banking, and Funding
Banking Workshop Recap
Video for CSBBN "Banking Relationships That Stick"
The Cambridge-Somerville Black Business Network (CSBBN) hosted a free workshop entitled, "Building Banking Relationships that Stick" sponsored by Sustainable Business Network and Cambridge Local First. The workshop to was held on October 20, 2020, 4:30-6:00pm and featured presenters from three local community banks: Cambridge Savings Bank, East Cambridge Savings Bank and Cambridge Trust.

If you attended the workshop, please provide some feedback here.

Move Your Money Workshop

Join Cambridge Local First and Cambridge Savings Bank as we talk through the how-to logistics on opening an account with a community bank! Lesly Beliard, Assistant Vice President, Branch Manager at Inman Square, and Olritch Donnat, AVP Small Business Development Officer are looking forward to an interactive conversation. This is an exciting opportunity to build a relationship with your community bank representatives! Zoom information is here.
Grants & Funding Opportunities
Massachusetts State COVID-19 Grants for Small Businesses

This is a grant from the MA state government for small businesses. Though the application is for any small business, the grant funding will give preference to small businesses owned my women, minorities, veterans and members of any other underrepresented groups. All applications are due November 12, 2020 at 12 noon.

The NAACP and Beygood are working together to provide $10K grants to black-owned small businesses. The application is open until the end of December.
IFundWomen fo Color Dreams to Reality Fund Program
Created by Welcome to the Caress, this is a $1,000 grant for women of color-owned businesses. Other criteria include the business must be located in the U.S., must have an annual revenue of $10K or more, must be in business for at least 12 months, and must have a compelling digital presence. All applications are due November 13, 2020.
Policy Updates
  • The City of Cambridge has been working on the Patio Heater Reimbursement Program. Through this new program, restaurants can be reimbursed for up to $250 per portable patio heater with a max of 5 patio heaters per business. This will help small businesses stay open safely during the winter season.
  • Your business can support the "Pick it Up, Cambridge" effort. This is a campaign initiated by the city government that aims to inform patrons that restaurants save as much as 25% per order by calling directly instead of ordering through apps.
Community Partner Activities
11/12: BECMA's Annual Meeting:
Join us this Thursday, November 12, 2020 at 6:30PM for the Black Economic Council of Massachusetts’s (BECMA) virtual Annual Meeting. Speakers include Margaret Anadu, head of the Urban Investment Group at Goldman Sachs, and Simone Jordan, Head of Community Commerce at Sundial Brands, as our featured guests! They will engage two BECMA members in a fireside chat on exciting and relevant topics.
11/13-15: 2020 Virtual Mass. Black Expo
Join BECMA for their virtual 2020 Mass Black Expo As an attendee, you'll have the opportunity to interact with 50+ Black businesses and organizations, as well as gain new tactics and tools to start or grow your business ideas. Here are a couple of things you can do before Friday, November 13th:
  • Register to be an exhibitor by clicking here.
  • The virtual platform is now live! click here to create your profile today.
  • Click here to take a look at the schedule and build your agenda.
11/13: Black on Black Investing by Boston Ujima Project
Black on Black Investing is a workshop series geared towards conversation, financial education and expanding our notions of investment and wealth. This is one of the featured workshops at the upcoming Mass. Black Expo and will take place on Friday, November 13th at 4:00pm. Register here.
Small Business News
'Tip of the iceberg:' Cambridge's small businesses...

With the rollout of Phase Three reopening, the staff at Christopher's in Porter Square had begun preparations to return to indoor dining: replacing air filters, separating tables, offering new training for staff. But plans suddenly ground to a...

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Somerville Extends Outdoor Dining Through End Of 2021

SOMERVILLE, MA - Tents and outdoor heaters will crop up on Somerville streets as local restaurants dig in to continue outdoor dining during the colder weather. The expansion of outdoor dining, originally scheduled to expire Nov. 1, has been...

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Coronavirus business resource guide for Massachusetts -...

The Boston Business Journal has compiled this resource list to help businesses during the outbreak, a list that is likely to grow and change over the coming days and weeks. We will update this list regularly, so please check back. And if you come ...

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Why Become A Member of CSBBN?
  • A diverse pool of mentors and a robust business network
  • Connections to financial resources
  • Updates on key policy changes and the ability to advocate on behalf of your business
  • One-year membership to Cambridge Local First (CLF) and Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts (SBN)
Special thanks fo our Resilient Economy Interns for their assistance in launching the Cambridge-Somerville Black Business Network.
Cambridge-Somerville Black Business Network

Sponsoring Organizations of CSBBN