Black BRAND, black chamber of commerce, opens chapter in Danville

Aid To Help Local Businesses With Resources July 23 2021
Published: Jul. 23, 2021 at 7:27 PM EDT
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DANVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) - As Danville and Pittsylvania County’s economic growth continues, so does the number of opportunities.

Crystal Cobbs, owner of Cobbs Consulting and president of Black BRAND Dan River Region, had started to become concerned that Black-owned business would miss out.

“A lot of times you are not eligible for grants if you do not have your LLC, or non profit status, or business license, so those things like that are often overlooked and people might not even know,” said Cobbs.

After attending a meeting, Cobbs reached out to Black BRAND, an acronym for Business, Research, Analytics, Networking, and Development. The organization serves as chamber of commerce for Black businesses in Hampton Roads.

“They recognized that we had a ton of resources already in place, we can help them with building a grant program, we can help them with building a launch incubator,” said Blair Durham, President of Black BRAND.

Durham says the need for their type of organization is crucial, especially coming out of the pandemic.

“42% of Black-owned businesses permanently closed their doors because they did not have the resources they need to for example apply for PPP funding,” said Durham.

More specific to Danville, Cobbs hopes the organization will help business owners benefit from Caesar’s coming to town.

“We are already behind because people have been buying up properties because they know the casino is coming, so the folks who could benefit from it the most get left out sometimes,” said Cobbs.

The organization will have a virtual launch event Saturday at noon where they will have the owner of a million-dollar Black-owned business as the keynote speaker.

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