The Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce (DBCC) is poised to inject financial life into burgeoning businesses.

In concert with Office Depot, the chamber has unveiled ‘Elevate Together,’ a groundbreaking initiative to empower minority-owned enterprises.

Five years ago, Amber Jackson birthed Glitz Optical.

“Glitz Optical is a luxury mobile concept,” she explained. “We cater to clients who don’t have much time in their day. So we come to their home or office or meet them at their local coffee shop.”

A seasoned optician with 17 years of experience, Jackson was the beneficiary of a $5,000 grant last year, enabling her to broaden her operational scope to include in-house eyewear manufacturing.

“With those funds, we were able to cut out the middleman of having the lab because I also know how to cut the lenses,” she said.

This financial boom originated from the DBCC in collaboration with Office Depot.

“This partnership really came from the Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber. They were already working with the Office Depot corporation,” said Harrison Blair, president and CEO of the Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce. “They said, ‘Hey, Harrison. The Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce would be a great partner for a program like this. Would you consider working with ODP?’ And they said they’ll give you money that you can give away. You don’t have to twist my arm for a good time.”

The grant program was inaugurated last year and saw its first cycle of funding. This year, Office Depot again gave the chamber $30,000 to support small businesses.

“You never know. Yours might be the diamond in the rough, the needle in the haystack,” said Blair.

For Lorin Carter’s C-Suite Equity Consulting, the grant was a game-changer.

“We were one of the perfect candidates to receive the grant,” she said. “The grant is all about addressing systemic barriers and racial disparities in business, and that’s exactly what we work to do in all of the things and the services that we offer.”

“We’ve seen a lot of impact from it, so we’re very excited about what it’s doing,” said Blair.

Source: Yahoo Finance