Hundreds of Incremental Moves


January 23, 2022
Staff Reports

Last week, your Chamber’s Hispanic Business Council Executive Committee (HBEC) met, as they do monthly, to discuss planning for meeting their mission of facilitating the advancement of Hispanic businesses and professionals in Abilene.

While I’m unfortunately not able to make every meeting as I’d like to, I’m blessed with a team that recaps what they’re hearing and working on routinely.

And, from that meeting, my team shared a profound statement from HBEC Chair, Travis Ruiz with KTAB/KRBC/Telemundo, that stuck with your Chamber team who then relayed the conversation to me.

When discussing meeting with our members who have let their investment lapse, he said, “It’s important we, as leaders in this organization, are sharing that Chamber membership is so much more than attending networking events. Businesses have a dedicated partner that is actively advocating for their organization, actively seeking ways to improve to better serve the business community and finding opportunities to help businesses thrive at every level.”

Well, Travis! I couldn’t have said it better myself!

Which makes this morning’s message to you, our partner, even more exciting.

Your Abilene Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce our community has been awarded a $1 million grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration as part of its $100 million Community Navigator Pilot Program, an American Rescue Plan initiative designed to reduce barriers that underrepresented and underserved entrepreneurs often face in accessing the programs they need to recover, grow, or start their businesses.

Through the Community Navigator Pilot Program, grants ranging from less than $1 million to $5 million were presented to 51 community “hubs” across the country. Your Abilene Chamber was the only West Texas hub to receive a grant, and one of only two in Texas.

So, what does this mean for you?

With the help of community entities such as Cisco College, West Central Texas Council of Governments, HERU Community Development Corporation, the Abilene Black Chamber of Commerce, and the Chamber’s own Abilene Industrial Foundation, we’ll be working through our own program called the West Texas Business Navigator Program to provide entrepreneurs opportunities for technical assistance, training and mentoring for small business owners.

We could not be more excited for this opportunity for the area business community and the partnership that will increase within these organizations with this new program.

I’ve said this before, the success of our organization is based upon aggressively pursuing the hundreds of incremental moves needed to achieve greater prosperity of our communities. And we’re grateful for your partnership in helping us continue to share the story of our business community.

To learn more about the program and how you might can participate HERE and click HERE to listen to a message from Chamber leadership.

Let’s continue working toward a better community for everyone – together.