Shortly after the election of Barck Obama, Stephen Gilchrist and 30 other minority business leaders sat around Gilchrist’s home discussing what this new president would mean for their individual businesses…SC Business News March 2018
U.S. Senator Tim Scott met with dozens of minority business owners at an event in North Charleston, South Carolina last week. The gathering – hosted by Scott’s office and the South Carolina African American Chamber of Commerce – featured a “productive discussion with some inspiring local leaders,” according to a tweet from Scott.
Stephen Gilchrist, the leader of the black chamber, agreed – calling it a “great meeting between Senator Scott and black business leaders.”
Gilchrist told us he was encouraged to see so many “black leaders (who) are not establishment blacks” in attendance, adding that events like this “may be signaling a tide change in black politics” in the Palmetto State.
Is he right? Possibly … although as we’ve noted on numerous prior occasions “Republicans” and Democrats in Washington, D.C. (and at the S.C. State House) have become virtually indistinguishable on the vast majority of issues.
Still, Scott is one of the better GOP votes in our nation’s capital – standing in stark contrast to the leftward lean of liberal U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham. As a result, Scott continues to receive the support of broad swaths of “Republican” voters in South Carolina, whereas Graham does not.
Scott played an integral role in the passage of the GOP tax plan, which has undergone a surge in popular support as increasing numbers of Americans have seen a boost in their paychecks thanks to the new law.
No Democrats voted for that plan, incidentally … a rare point of contrast in our increasingly monochromatic (a.k.a. #TeamPurple) capital.
This news site was never thrilled with the GOP plan … arguing on multiple occasions that it didn’t provide enough relief to middle income earners and small businesses (and didn’t make deep enough cuts to government). We still view it as a missed opportunity.
Also, the jury is still out as to whether the plan will stimulate the economy …
Nonetheless, we believe Scott did his best during negotiations to advance the interests of those who needed (and still need) relief the most – including those black business owners he met with last week in North Charleston.
South Carolina is facing some serious economic challenges right now … and solving them is going to require us to set aside our surface differences aside and work together for the good of everyone. More importantly, it’s going to require a fundamental reorientation of our current (failed) governing philosophy – which embraces unsustainable spending and crony capitalist handouts at the expense of the taxpayers and job creators.
On Monday, June 8, 2015, the SC African American Chamber of Commerce and Greater Charleston Business Alliance signed a Strategic Partnership Agreement launching a new era of minority economic development and advocacy for South Carolina and bordering states. Combining forces immediately emerged an army of well over 3,000 minority owned businesses who are affiliated. Additionally, numerous buying organizations who seek the elite ethnically diverse, woman owned and veteran owned members both entities boasts are positioned to plunge into a pool of the best MBEs South Carolina has to offer.
About the Strategic Partnership
With the expertise and endorsement of GCBA Founder, Dr. Evelyn DeLaine Hart and the incomparable influence of SCAAC Chairmen Stephen Gilchrist, both leaders signed a formal Strategic Partnership Agreement fusing both organizations. Upon signing the agreement Dr. Delaine Hart stated, “We just changed the climate in South Carolina for minority businesses! We all have a brighter forecast as a result of the clout, influence and expertise of the combined leadership and membership of our organizations…Now let’s get to work!” Gilchrist stated, “This is only the beginning of what will be offered to South Carolina in the area of minority economic empowerment. We have quickly initiated several new projects with legislators, Fortune 500 Companies and prominent buying organizations while interfacing our supplier database and membership into a higher realm of economic growth and development. Our voice just got louder!”
The SCAAC will collaborate with GCBA to produce positive measurable outcomes in the following areas: increase the number of buying organizations and suppliers/members who are vetted and positioned for matchmaking; increase supplier to supplier matchmaking to produce strong joint ventures; increase the number of winning bids and opportunities for single suppliers and those who formed joint ventures; increase measurable and documentable monetary retention for minorities from buying organizations and every level of government. To further enhance positive outcomes stemming from the strategic partnership between SCAAC and GCBA, programs, training and assistance in certifications and bonding will play a significant role in creating success stories within the membership, buying organizations and the community. “An essential element in furthering successful minority business and economic development is our continued legislative involvement relating to policies that directly affect the economic infrastructure of South Carolina,” stated Gilchrist.
Metrics and measurements regarding all activities will be meticulously logged and charted. Goals and objectives for each quarter with reports from the previous quarter will be reviewed by a leadership committee comprised from both organizations. Founding Member and GCBA Chairman, Harold Gillens of Quintech Solutions is an expert regarding goals, objectives and measurements which lends to the years of success he has experienced with his own organization and the many minority businesses he has mentored. Gillens stated, “My leadership role with GCBA has been extended to the unprecedented partnership we now have with SCAACC. Together we bear the greatest responsibility of producing the highest caliber of outcomes never before seen in our state for the minority business community. Unification is the strong arm we will use to break down every barrier and accomplish our goals in a very strategic approach.”
In response to the recent tragedy in Charleston at Emmanuel AME Church, GCBA and SCAAC have begun to implement strategies which will foster a greater bond between the corporate and legislative sectors, and the community in honor of Senator Clementa C. Pinckney who was beloved by both organizations. The business community is invited to inquire and participate in all that will take place to further his work and legacy of equality, diversity and inclusion for the minority community in South Carolina.
Read more at Carolina Panoroma