Your Chamber at Work - August 1, 2022




Applause and a huge “thank you” to the Kauffman Foundation for their recent announcement of its Kansas City Loan Guarantee Fund for those lenders interested in exploring opportunities to increase their investing in minority businesses. Partnering with Locus and the KC Chamber, the Kauffman Foundation made that announcement at the Chamber’s recent convening of area bankers – our third convening since we began our “Access to Capital” initiative. The Kansas City Urban Financial Services Coalition is also partnering with the Foundation and the Chamber to offer cultural awareness training for area lenders as well.

These initiatives are big steps forward in Kansas City’s effort to solve the problem faced by local minority-owned businesses. The issue came to the forefront during the pandemic, when statistics showed how few minority businesses received funds from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). (Of the 4,677 PPP loans made in our region, only 34 went to Black-owned businesses; 34 went to Hispanic-owned businesses.) At the request of several of our Board members and Past Chairs, the KC Chamber, Civic Council and KC Common Good convened a group of bankers to talk about how the regional business community and financial services sector might do things a little differently to help boost lending to minority businesses.

The new loan guarantee fund is a result of that work, and we are grateful to the Kauffman Foundation for once again stepping up to serve the needs of our community as identified by the Chamber’s Access to Capital task force. Other efforts as part of the initiative include bringing lenders, entrepreneurial support organizations, and minority-owned businesses through a Lenders Forum and Capital Connections events.


We know how you are, Chiefs Kingdom. Football is not just a game, or even just a season for you. It’s a passion that drives you, and makes you see red – in a good way, the best way – all year long. You’re watching the stats, watching the clips from camp, but do you really know how our Chiefs owners, leaders, players and coaches are feeling about the season ahead of us? Be in the room and hear for yourself. Bring your team to celebrate Kansas City’s team on September 1 at the Loews Hotel, 1515 Wyandotte, for the 2022 Chiefs Kickoff Luncheon. This event will take place from noon to 2 p.m. Tables of 10 are available for $1,250, and individual tickets are $125. Register here. Contact Laura Dryden if you have questions, email


Alphapointe has been serving the visually impaired since 1911, but you may not know much about them. They currently employ more than 400 people in nine locations in four states. But there’s so much more you need to know. Find out on August 12 from 8:30 to 10:00 a.m. when we meet at Alphapointe, 7501 Prospect, for Neighborhood Networking. This is free networking for Chamber members and $15 for non-members. Register here. Thank you to Neighborhood Networking sponsors, Unbound, Bardavon Health Innovations and Kansas City Current. Overall Networking Sponsors are Delta Dental and Mazuma Credit Union.


Many Americans are unaware of the history and challenges Black banks in the South and Midwest faced during the late 19th and 20th centuries. In his new book, A Great Moral and Social Force:  A History of Black Banks, Tim Todd focuses on the stories of Black banks in five cities:  Richmond, Va.; Boley, Okla.; Chicago, Ill.; Memphis, Tenn.; and Detroit, Mich. These cities were shining examples of Black wealth and success, and the book explores factors that contributed to the demise of Black banks at the peak of their success. Be part of the discussion at the hybrid D&I Author Series event on August 23, from 9 to 10:30 a.m. You can join online via Zoom or be present in the KC Chamber Board Room at Union Station, 30 W Pershing Road. D&I Author Events are free to attend. Register here. Thank you to Presenting Diversity Sponsors CommunityAmerica Credit Union, Evergy, and Hallmark. The Workshop Presenting Sponsor is Commerce Bank. This event is presented in partnership with the Blue Springs Area Chamber of Commerce and the Independence Chamber of Commerce.


Mark your calendar for Tuesday, August 30 at 4 p.m. so you can join us at Elara Caring, 3215 Main St., Suite C. Their mission is to deliver exceptional personalized healthcare services. Let’s celebrate their new location! On Wednesday, August 31 you can join us at 4 p.m. at Kansas City Teacher Residency, 1712 Main St. They prepare teachers to create transformative and equitable classroom experiences for all students in the communities they serve. Hope to see you there. Questions? Reach out to Jennifer Klock,