14 local black-owned businesses recognized

Third annual Madison Black Chamber awards honor the positive impact of black-owned businesses on Dane County’s economy.

Attendees at last year's Madison Black Chamber awards applaud a local winning business.

Attendees at last year's Madison Black Chamber awards applaud a local winning business.

Madison Black Chamber of Commerce

The strength of the local black business community will be on full display during the third annual Madison Black Chamber of Commerce Awards Dinner Recognition & Exhibition. The event will take place from 5–9 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20 in the Atrium of Madison College.

Black-owned businesses in 14 categories will be recognized for making a positive impact on Dane County’s economy. The Madison Black Chamber of Commerce represents 184 member black-owned businesses from throughout the Greater Madison area.

“This is an exceptionally important event for our chamber,” Camille Carter, president of the Madison Black Chamber of Commerce, says. “It’s our opportunity to identify and applaud the dedicated and focused black entrepreneurs that have leveraged resources in order to generate a successful business. As we celebrate Black History Month, highlighting excellence at multiple levels is vital for our families and the community to witness.”

This year’s theme is “Leveraging the Excellence of Black Businesses.” The keynote speaker will be state Sen. Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee), who will be followed by a panel of distinguished black business owners such as Inspire Barber School’s Brian Britt, Foster Funeral Homes’ Bryan Foster, and Anesis Therapy’s Myra McNair. Also included in the awards dinner program will be Miss Black USA 2019 and Madison native, TeKema Balentine.

This year’s 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

Award winners were nominated by the community and selected by the event committee. Businesses were selected based on commentary from the nominations and additional research and resources. 

Similar to last year, attendees will also have a chance to connect with members of the local black business community via an exhibition of vendor businesses from throughout Dane County. According to Carter, the exhibition is another opportunity to network and make connections with people and resources that can help businesses grow and develop. Around 20 diverse businesses will be represented, ranging from personal-care items, specialty goods, crafts, and clothing, as well as business owners marketing professional services.

“As this event grows into the fabric of our community, it’s the mission of the Madison Black Chamber to leverage and support as many talents and resources within the black business community as possible,” notes Carter. “We continue to find ways to work with our businesses, engaging and supporting them to brand this event as a true celebration of their successes.”

Carter notes entrepreneurship can be a lonely journey, most often spent working within the business and being isolated. In particular, African American business owners are even less likely to actively network, leverage resources optimally, and self-promote their products and services. “Our mission at the Madison Black Chamber is to intentionally seek them out and help promote their business as well as provide technical services and programs to keep them sustainable. We are intentional to build partnerships and collaborations specific for the needs of black business ownership and advocate for their interests.”

Attendees to the Feb. 20 event are encouraged to wear semi-formal/African chic attire and use the available valet service. Tickets for the event are $50 and can be purchased at madisonblackchamber.com.

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