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Business Groups Call For Tallahassee, Leon County Government Adopt Policy Proposals Aimed At Helping Black-Owned Businesses

Nick Maddox stands at a podium draped in black cloth. A microphone is pointed at his mouth. He looks toward the press as he speaks. Behind him is City Hall and nine other people including City Commissioner Elaine Bryant.
Robbie Gaffney
The Big Bend Minority Chamber of Commerce and Capital City Chamber of Commerce gave a set of policy proposals to Leon County Commissioner Nick Maddox and Tallahassee City Commissioner Elaine Bryant on Thursday, October 15.

Two business groups are uniting to ask Tallahassee and Leon County officials to adopt policies aimed at giving more opportunities for black-owned businesses. Big Bend Minority Chamber of Commerce President Antonio Jefferson is hoping if the proposals are successful in Tallahassee, they could spread out to other areas in the region.

Jefferson says he believes the death of George Floyd has given a national spotlight on inequalities some Black people face, and in turn, could give his group's policy proposals momentum in local government.

"We believe that as a result of th[at] tragic loss of some great Americans, that we are now in a moment where we can make a change," Jefferson says.

Recommendations include breaking up large contracts so minority-owned businesses can get more work from the local government. And using CARES Act funds to create microgrants and loan programs for black-owned companies.

City Commissioner Elaine Bryant and Leon County Commissioner Nick Maddox are backing the policy recommendations.

"These chambers can do so much, but the community standing behind these chambers can do even more," Maddox says.