The 3rd Annual Black Business Awards Recognition and Exhibition will honor the diversity and strength and innovation of the many great Madison-area black businesses. The theme for this year’s event is “leveraging your resources” and Madison Black Chamber of Commerce President Camille Carter said her team carefully chose awardees, a keynote speaker and panelists who demonstrate that ability to leverage their resources.
“The road to entrepreneurship is not a straight journey — particularly for Black people resources are very limited; resources to capital, resources to real estate, resources to personnel,” Carter tells Madison365. “And in order to be a success to a particular magnitude, you really have to learn how to take little and expand a lot. And really learn to maximize what you do have.”
The Madison Black Chamber of Commerce, established in 2006, is a group of community members working to empower African American/Black people to cultivate and expand entrepreneurship. Their Annual Black Business Awards Recognition and Exhibition event this year will take place Thursday, Feb. 20, 5-9 p.m., at the Atrium of Madison College, 1701 Wright Street. Historically, the awards dinner draws crowds of more than 200 people.
Participants can browse a showcase of 20 Black-owned businesses who will be providing resources and information from 5-6 p.m. Then Miss Black USA, TeKema Balentine will start the ceremony at 6 p.m, keynote speaker State Sen. Lena Taylor (D- Milwaukee) will follow.
The three panelists for the evening are Brian Britt of Inspire Barber School, Bryan Foster, owner of Foster Funeral Homes, and Myra McNair of Anesis Therapy.
“It was important for us to really select our panelist very carefully. We really wanted to focus on businesses that were leveraging their resources well,” Carter said.
“We selected Myra who owns Anesis Therapy because just within a short period of four years she has managed to expand to two locations and 18 employees and is really doing some phenomenal work in the community,” she added. “We are excited to hear her story and her success and how she leveraged multiple resources to get where she currently is today.”
All the panelists have done unique and similar things with their businesses, Carter said. By focusing on the leveraging of the resources Black business owners build an agency where they are in fact employing people and expanding not just themselves but others.
Over the past three years, the awards ceremony has grown, Carter said, including the number of participants, the addition of Black-owned business exhibition, and stronger community partnerships; such as the relationship with Madison College which “really understand the true spirit of entrepreneurship,” Carter said.
The Black chamber received more than 300 award nominations from the community, Carter said, and it was difficult to narrow down the winners to just 14 businesses.
“The dinner committee had a very challenging time coming up with selecting between a lot of the great nominees that were submitted. We worked very hard to make sure the right businesses were selected,” Carter said.
The award winners are:
- Entertainment Business of the Year Award: 1Motion Outreach Enterprise
- Caterer of the Year Award: Les Delices De Awa LLC
- Financial Services of the Year Award: Dominic Johnson of Northwestern Mutual
- Health & Fitness Business of the Year Award: Kneaded Relief Day Spa & Wellness
- Healthcare Business of the Year Award: N Motion Medical Transportation Incorporated
- Home-Based Business of the Year Award: Adorn Chic Boutique
- Hospitality Business of the Year Award: Duke and Darling Photo
- Milestone Award: The Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness
- Persistence Business Award: The Sophisticated Lady
- Personal Care Service Business of the Year Award: The Edge of Freshness
- Restaurant of the Year Award: Kingdom Restaurant
- Visionary Award: EQT by Design
- Young Entrepreneur Award: Alexandrea Cordell
- Youth Entrepreneur of the Year Award: Jaia Davis
For more information about the 3rd Annual Black Business Awards Recognition and Exhibition and to purchase tickets ($50) visit www.madisonblackchamber.com. Although tickets will be sold at the door, organizers strongly encourage buying tickets in advance because the award dinner may sell out.