Business West Edition

Resource fair marks start of National Black Business Month

LOS ANGELES — To mark August as National Black Business Month, the Black Business Association of Los Angeles held a community resource fair Aug. 3 at the office of Los Angeles school board member George McKenna, 5120 11th Ave., adjacent to Crenshaw High School.

McKenna co-hosted the fair which was designed to help people trying to break into the construction field.

The association held meets and greets with construction union representatives and construction contractors and provided information on small contracting job opportunities.

National Black Business Month events started Aug. 1 with the fith annual presentation of the Miller Lite Tap the Future Live Pitch tour at the Conga Room at L.A. Live in downtown Los Angeles.

“The Miller Lite Tap the Future program is about finding people who hold true to their vision of success despite the obstacles they face,” said Steve Canal, manager of national community affairs with MillerCoors.

The contest included lead judge Daymond John from the ABC hit show “Shark Tank.”

“Miller Lite Tap the Future is an outstanding program for up-and- coming entrepreneurs and I’m proud to have been a partner the past five years,” John said. “The judging gets more challenging every year, since the finalists get better as the program continues to grow. This year, I’m looking forward to seeing original ideas that stand out and entrepreneurs who are focused on holding true to achieve success.”

During the contest five semifinalists pitched their business ideas to judges who represented some of the sharpest business minds in the country.

The five West Coast semifinalist included GlassKing Recovery and Recycling’s customized glass recycling solutions, Black Chip Collective, a freelance collective of videographer talent; Trip Less Trainer, a thumb tab-shortened dog leash combination; Lumenus, smart wearable lighting for cyclists; and SuperCooler, a fast-cooling device that chills beer and soda.

Jeremy Wall of Los Angeles, the CEO of Lumenus, was declared the winner and received a $20,000 cash prize and the chance to win $100,000 in the national competition.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s most recent survey of business owners, there are 2.6 million black-owned businesses in this country.