On Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2023, the National Business League welcomed the latest cohort of Black-owned businesses into the National Black Supplier Development Program (NBSDP). This incoming group, referred to as the Collective, comprises a diverse range of businesses from across the country, and four come from Southeast Michigan. Detroit Regional Chamber member James Group International is among the businesses selected, with the additional members including:
- The Advantage Group, Louisville, KY
- Mutombo Coffee, New Orleans, LA
- Chatdesk Inc., New York, NY
- Heritage Vision Plans, Detroit, MI
- HESS Advanced Solutions, Dayton, OH
- LED Trail, Portland, OR
- Pacific Medical Specialties, LLC, Rancho Cucamonga, CA
- Polar Group, LLC, Oakbrook Terrace, IL
- Production Spring, LLC, Troy, MI
- Tucker Technology, Inc., Oakland, CA
- VMX International, LLC, Detroit, MI
These 12 businesses were selected from a competitive national pool of over 400 applicants and 30 semi-finalists by a committee of NBSDP’s corporate partners and Black Business Enterprises.
“Our goal is to support the development of more than 3.2 million Black businesses nationwide, providing them with opportunities within the federal government, as well as the public and private sectors,” said Dr. Forrest Carter, Ph.D., NBSDP National Director.
The NBSDP launched in 2021 with initial capital support from MPS Group and a significant three-year funding commitment from presenting partner Stellantis. It was conceived to address the economic challenges faced by Black-owned businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. It also emerged as a response to the urgent call for racial equity and inclusion following the tragic murder of George Floyd, igniting the global Black Lives Matter movement.
In its second year, the program gained further momentum with the support of partners like Comerica Bank, Cummins, DTE Energy, Ford, GM, Lear, Magna, and Toyota. It has also seen a success with its alumni having secured over $1M in purchasing contracts over the past two years, resulting in a waiting list of Fortune 500 companies eager to join this successful and impactful program in 2024.
“We have progressed far beyond the days of business card exchanges, chicken dinners, empty press conferences and announcements, and we are now steadfastly dedicated to fostering commerce-driven initiatives and purposeful opportunities, going beyond mere words and charismatic speeches,” said Dr. Ken L. Harris, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Business League. “There exists no other program in the nation that produces such tangible and game-changing results for Black-owned businesses.”