Noir Black Chamber of Commerce Inc. is a 501C3 Economic Development Organization, which was launched in Louisville on August 19, 2019, at a press conference held by Metro Council President David James. The launch established the organization as Kentucky’s only black chamber of commerce consisting of 10 members. Since the launch, the chamber has made significant gains in terms of the number of entrepreneurs it has helped start new businesses; membership growth to over 175 members; national expansion serving members in California, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah; organizational certification as a Community Development Entity (CDE) under The U.S. Department of Treasury; collaborative partnerships built between Louisville SCORE mentoring program and Louisville Better Business Bureau; membership into The U.S. Black Chamber of Commerce Inc.; selected into Chase Bank’s Advancing Black Pathways Program; and the launch of The Kentucky CDE CDFI Partnership created by the chamber and Community Ventures Inc. to focus on statewide large economic development projects to improve Kentucky’s national ranking by 2025 as one of the best states to live, work, and start a business in.
Because of the social unrest in Louisville and across America due to the killings of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, the chamber was compelled to identify a pathway forward for Black Americas that would truly create economic and social change, and in doing so, the chamber reviewed the city’s Resilience Louisville Project to identify core economic and social pillars specific to black communities that would create such change. After extensive research and review, the chamber identified EIGHT pillars it would create national programming around to help “Move Black America Forward”. The first four pillars are centered around BUSINESS programming to assist Black Entrepreneurs-START, Small Businesses-GROW, Midsize Businesses-SUSTAIN, and Corporate Black Professionals-RISE. The second four pillars are centered around COMMUNITY programming with the creation of a national Black Community Trauma Program, Black Teen Higher Professional Career Attainment, Apprenticeship and Job Training for Non-College-Bound Teens, and Welfare Reform. The chamber has also created the HBCU & PBI Black Talent Recruitment Job Placement Program to connect corporations with top black talent across the country, and The Homebuyer Education Program to move more Section 8 families and low-to-moderate income families toward homeownership which is key to breaking the cycle of poverty through building generational wealth.
John Howard Shaw-Woo
Founder and Chief Executive Officer