National Black Chamber of Commerce Chairman John Harmon told NJTV News Managing Editor Mike Schneider that the African-American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey has made great inroads by working with other New Jersey business organizations and he hopes to bring that type of cooperation to the national organization.
Harmon was promoted to the National Black Chamber of Commerce and he said, “It means a lot. I have been a chamber of commerce executive for about 16 years now and this will give me the opportunity to work with my colleagues from around the country to help shape an economic agenda for black business across America.”
On the agenda for the chamber, Harmon said is access to capital, connecting mainstream businesses with the private sector and creating opportunities for businesses of all sizes.
“Throughout New Jersey and America there are about 2 million African-American businesses and the irony is that 93 percent of those businesses are sole proprietorships so the big challenge is how do we connect those businesses with economic sector opportunities?” Harmon asked.
Harmon said that the chamber can work closely with businesses to do training and develop initiatives, introduce them to some of the chamber’s financial institutions so they can access capital and introduce them to state and local municipalities to help grow and sustain those businesses.
“The African-American Chamber of Commerce in New Jersey has made great inroads. We have been working very closely with the Christie administration, NJBIA, NJ Chamber of Commerce and the NJ Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. It’s all about us coming together in New Jersey as one family,” Harmon said.
“All sectors of the economy must come together to realize that we want to be a partner in making the state more competitive, and by growing those under performance sectors — in this case the African-American community — we make the state a better place to live and work for all,” Harmon said.