African American Chamber of Commerce - June 2018 Newsletter

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~Chamber News You Can Use~

June 2018
from the desk of Shariah Brown

Chamber Offers Introductory Rate for New Member
360 Referral Partner Program

Effective this spring, the African American Chamber of Commerce of Central Pennsylvania (AACCCP) is offering black business owners a 360 Referral Partner membership with the unique opportunity to generate bonafide business leads.  Black-owned businesses throughout south central PA are encouraged to join now at a special introductory rate of only $180 (regular price $360). 
“Our goal is to identify the black-owned businesses in the area, vet them, and market their services to our corporate partners,” says Shariah Brown, Chair of the AACCCP.  “Our corporate sponsors are looking for contractors on large and small construction projects, as well as specialized services in accounting, legal, web design, financial planning, the beauty industry, catering, photography and graphic design, just to name a few.”  
According to Clayco Senior Vice President, Sandra Marks, “Clayco aligns with organizations like the African-American Chamber of Commerce of Central PA to help us identify qualified firms that bring value and diversify our supply chain. We are working with the Chamber to form relationships, and we have a proven track record of scaling small and diverse businesses.”
“Penn State Office of Physical Plant has initiatives in place that aim to broaden its pool of suppliers,” says Vern Davis, Contractor Liaison, Penn State University.  “We utilize AACCCP as a referral source to achieve these goals.”
Businesses within the 360 Referral Partner network will receive social media attention and discounts to The Chamber U educational series, access to networking, be featured in the AACCCP monthly newsletter and so much more. 

For more information contact Elyse Irvis, AACCCP Membership Chair at or visit
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June 12      
Doing Business with Penn State SEDA-COG Procurement Technical Assistance Center

10:00 AM to 12:00 Noon
Harrisburg Regional Chamber/CREDC
3211 N. Front Street, Harrisburg
Learn How:
* Penn State purchases products and services
* To find business opportunities with Penn State
* To get on Penn State's pre-qualified bidders list
* To find construction opportunities with Penn State
* Penn State’s Purchasing Card works
* The Office of the Physical Plant (OPP) Contractor Diversity Program works

June 13      
How to Do Business with China (Chamber U Event)

This event is an extension of May’s event Earn $$$ in Your SLEEP. Special guest speaker Jon Brown of Pineal Consulting Group located in Shanghai, China will provide information on how to do business with China. Whether you are in the hair, clothing or other industry, Mr. Brown will educate business owners on the steps to secure quality products for a fraction of the cost, to supply your business with inventory.

June 23      
Build Your Business Boot Camp 7 (Chamber U Event)

Finally! This is the Business Boot Camp Seminar that will help you "TAKE THE NEXT STEP" in accelerating the launch of your new business venture, or provide you with the right tools and insights to grow your current enterprise.

If you are a current business owner in need of a refresher or an aspiring entrepreneur ready to launch your first venture, this event is for you!!! This is THE BEST business Seminar in Central PA.

This event will provide educational workshops, interactive panels, and exciting business ideas, with a variety of prizes focused on building and further strengthening local African-American owned businesses. Bring your questions! We will have business consultants, lawyers, accountants, and bankers to help you learn, grow and succeed.

July 2      
Catamaran Fall Accelerator - Application Deadline for September-December Cohort
Are you a Central Pennsylvania founder looking for resources to advance your early-stage start-up towards a minimally viable product?

The Catamaran team is currently recruiting founders to apply for the Fall Accelerator. As part of the accelrator experience, accepted companies receive: design thinking workshops, practical application of principles to your specific business, office space, design and engineering services, mentorship and exposure to potential customers, funding sources, etc.

Catamaran is entrepreneur-founded and entrepreneur-led. We deliver hands-on expertise on how to create digital technology solutions and turn them into viable businesses. Entrepreneurs receive essential knowledge and support to test and scale their own businesses, including access to resources, connections to valuable mentors and funding sources. Catamaran creates a collaborative, dynamic and productive local economy where smart, creative people want to live, work and stay.

Applications can be found at: and the deadline to apply is July 2, 2018. The fall cohort sets sail September 2018. Contact with questions or if you want to learn more.

August 1      
Deadline for Applications: Emerging Philanthropist Program Grant Opportunity!
The Emerging Philanthropist Program (EPP), a joint project of The Foundation for Enhancing Communities (TFEC) and Harrisburg Young Professionals (HYP), is pleased to announce that the EPP 2018 Grant Application is now available.

2018 Focus Area: Decreasing Childhood Poverty by Eliminating Barriers to Education
In 2018, the EPP program will focus on and work towards decreasing childhood poverty by eliminating barriers to education. To address this mission, EPP invites nonprofit organizations to apply for a one-time grant of $5,000 that will address the focus area. Proposed projects and/or programs must take place in the Harrisburg and surrounding areas and preference will be given to proposals serving children ages birth-10 years. Select applicants will be asked to complete an interview and/or site visit with the EPP participants, and EPP participants will give priority to programs with a proven track record of success in the focus area and who can demonstrate measurable outcomes.

Proposed projects may take place at any time during the grant year beginning January 1, 2019 and ending December 31, 2019. Applicants must either be a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization or have a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization act as a fiscal sponsor for the proposed project. Applications must be submitted by August 1, 2018 and notification of grant awards will be made in Fall 2018. Organizations interested in applying should visit to learn how to apply and review the grant guidelines. 

August 16      
L.E.A.F. (Linking Entrepreneurs After Five)
Linking Entrepreneurs After Five is a networking event created to bring together like-minded individuals. This event is in connection with the Harrisburg Cigar Club. Bring your cigars and enjoy an evening of food, fun and conversation with the TRIBE.

October 18      
Entrepreneur Roundtable
If you attended our Entrepreneur Roundtable event in March, you are encouraged to attend this session for a follow-up on how your business is doing after using the information provided earlier in the year. Subject matter experts will be on hand to help you with next steps in your business. If you did not attend in March, this is the time to come and receive info you missed in the spring.
November 24     
Mahogany Marketplace (Small Business Saturday)
It’s the kickoff of the holiday season. Looking for those special gifts for everyone on your list? Come support local entrepreneurs of Central PA by attending this event. Are you a business looking to be a vendor at this event?  Vendor spaces are available. For more information on how to register to become a vendor, please contact Candice Coleman-Henry at
Copyright © 2018 African American Chamber of Commerce of Central PA, All rights reserved.

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