The Chamber of Commerce Forum addresses the importance of investing in businesses owned by blacks and

The new group is leading investment in Philadelphia’s undercapitalized areas.

The Collective Investment Group, chaired by Stephen Sanders, is trying to develop a pipeline of black real estate developers.

The aggregate was formed when a group of real estate developers emphasized the important need for capital.

“If we can put together all the projects these developers had, we could reduce the risk in the market and provide investors with the opportunity to not only receive market rate returns on their investments, but also to do them at the same time. At the forum, Mr. Sanders emphasized the importance of investing in black and brown companies. “So we have developed two companies with a focus on solving this problem.”

He said they brought together developers to put together a total of $ 350 million in projects.

Sanders said an investment team was set up to undertake these projects, manage their assets and develop those projects.

“To develop a unique set of social indicators that we can consider participating in the project while participating in the project to ensure that it has a positive impact on our neighbors within Philadelphia. We have created a collective network of people, “says Sanders. He is also Chairman of Beltateh Capital.

The group has raised $ 100 million to help the first cohort of seven real estate developers fund their respective projects.

Sanders joined other business leaders at a forum held by the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce on Friday.

Kenneth Anderson, vice president of civil affairs at the Chamber of Commerce, discussed the disparity in business ownership. He quoted the Pew Charitable Trust’s annual “City State” report, showing that only 2.5% of businesses in the Philadelphia region were black-owned.

He talked about the Chamber of Commerce’s efforts to support businesses owned by blacks and browns. This organization is part of the Greater Philadelphia Financial Services Leadership Coalition.

“This effort not only increases access to the capital of minority-owned companies, but also provides technical support and scale capabilities to local community development agencies,” he said.

According to Anderson, the Chamber of Commerce and its members are also working to increase opportunities for black and brown small businesses by partnering with buyers to establish procurement goals and strategies through diverse procurement cooperation. I’m out.

Anderson also emphasized the organization’s CEO access network. In this network, members of the C Suite Chamber of Commerce are matched with SME CEOs to drive economic growth through relationship building and resource sharing.

Schnearia Ashley, Senior Vice President and Community Development Manager at Truist Financial, a bank holding company, talked about how financial institutions have stepped up to help small businesses affected by the pandemic.

“We had four funding pillars. As a financial institution, we found that there were so many black and brown disadvantaged companies that we changed the funding pillar in 2022. “I will,” she explained. “One of the pillars is to strengthen SMEs that prioritize supporting SMEs owned by diverse women. Our goal is to have a mentorship program that is increasing access to capital. It’s really about subsidizing your organization. Most of the population serves a community that looks like us. “

James Burnett, Vice President of VestedIn, talked about how the Community Development Finance Institution (CDFI) helped support businesses during a pandemic. He said 17 CDFIs from across the state raised $ 250 million in state funding to subsidize nearly 10,000 companies.

“What’s interesting about that is in our application process. In fact, we received 60,000 applications for $ 1 billion worth of support,” Burnett said.

“I think it’s really important that we only fund about 11,000 of these applications, so there’s still a big need here.”

Chuck Stefanowski, Director of Strategic Procurement and Procurement at Independence Blue Cross, talked about the company’s diversity program.

“The goal from the start of the program to today is to adapt employee and supplier-based diversity to the communities in which we serve,” said Stefanowski, who leads the company’s supplier diversity efforts. I am.

“When we considered increasing investment in black and brown businesses, it was very easy to pivot because of executive-level support. It really drives change and spends on diverse businesses. Is to harness the power of that influencer to drive the growth of. “

The forum was moderated by Anne Nevins, President of PIDC, a local economic development company. She said PIDC paid nearly $ 70 million to more than 5,000 SMEs through various grant programs while funding.

“We have also made some very important changes to strategies other than pandemic bailouts, especially blacks, indigenous peoples, people of color enterprises, and people throughout the low-income community of Philadelphia. For, it involves focusing on building wealth, “Nevins said.

“This is part of our core strategic commitment to deploying PIDC’s resources in a way that directly addresses Philadelphia’s racial inequality and poverty,” she said.

The Chamber of Commerce Forum addresses the importance of investing in businesses owned by blacks and

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