Chamber CEO Erin Predmore joined a panel and Bring It On! hosts William Hosea and Cornelius Wright to discuss the state of black-owned businesses and the entrepreneurial resources available to them. The show aired on Oct. 19, 2020 on WFHB 91.3 FM. A recording is available here.
Other panelists were Virginia Githiri, lecturer at the IU School of Health and owner of Popcorn Kernels with a Twist; and Jim Adams, III, the territory sales leader for State Farm Insurance.
The Chamber has been working with a Black-Owned Business Affinity Group to help support and grow black-owned businesses in our community.
Erin Predmore, CEO of the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce, was a guest on the Oct. 16, 2020 WFIU Noon Edition, focused on how COVD-related festival cancellations are impacting southern Indiana.
Other panelists were Judy Epp, Spencer Pride fundraising director; Diana Choate, Monroe County Fall Festival president; and Elaine Bedel, Indiana Destination and Development Corporation secretary and CEO.
Click here to listen to a recording of the discussion. Read the WFIU report: "Bloomington Chamber CEO Talks Effects of Local Event Cancellations."
The 2020 General Election is on Tuesday, Nov. 3. In addition to the race for U.S. President, many candidates are running for local, state and federal office. To help voters navigate their options, the Chamber has launched a nonpartisan resource guide for elected positions that represent all or parts of Monroe County.
In addition to general resources about the voting process, the site includes information about candidates for U.S. Congress District 9, Indiana Senate and House of Representatives, Monroe County Council and Commission, Monroe County Circuit Court, other Monroe County elected offices, and the school boards for Monroe County Community School Corp. and Richland-Bean Blossom Schools.
Not sure who's on your ballot? Go to the League of Women Voters Vote411 site, enter your address and get a listing. Or search for your ballot on the Indiana Voter Portal by clicking the "Who's On The Ballot" link.
The Hoosier Safe Six campaign, a collaboration led by the Chamber, kicked off a community-wide effort to keep Bloomington and Monroe County healthy, safe and open. The initiative was launched as Indiana University students return to town amid concerns of the spread of COVID-19.
The campaign includes customizable graphics that businesses and organizations can use, a "real talk" roommate discussion guide, and the Hoosier Safe Six Pledge to support the community.
The effort is a collaboration with the Chamber, Indiana University, Ivy Tech Bloomington, the City of Bloomington, Monroe County Health Department, Monroe County Community School Corporation and Richland-Bean Blossom School Corporation.
At a July 31 event featuring leaders of Bloomington's Black business community and city officials, the Chamber led a ceremony to install an Indiana historical market in Peoples Park. The maker commemorates the Black Market, a Black-owned business that was firebombed in 1968.
This ends a process that officially began in the summer of 2019 with an application to the Indiana Historical Bureau, in partnership with the Chamber's Black-Owned Business Affiliate Group and the City of Bloomington.
Peoples Park was originally the location of the Black Market in Bloomington, opened by Rollo Turner in 1968 on land owned by Larry Canada, a businessman and antiwar activist. This was a peaceful gathering place for citizens of Bloomington as well as Indiana University students where LPs, books, artwork, and African imports were sold. On December 26th, 1968, the Black Market was firebombed by the local members of the KKK. Ultimately, the Market was forced to close after all inventory was lost. Not long after, the building that housed the Black Market was razed, leaving an empty plot of land. In the early 1970’s, Indiana University students started plantings flowers and vegetation in the area, eventually naming it Peoples Park in honor of a park at UC-Berkeley.
Click here to watch a video of the event.
The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce is holding an installation ceremony for a historical marker at Peoples Park in Bloomington to mark the location of the Black Market, a Black-owned business that was firebombed in 1968. The installation will take place on Friday, July 31 at 10 a.m. at Peoples Park, 501 E Kirkwood Ave. (the northeast corner of Kirkwood and Dunn).
This ends a process that officially began in the summer of 2019 with an application to the Indiana State Historical Society. The Chamber had originally planned to have this event and marker installation in May, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, plans were rescheduled for this month.
“We are looking forward to finally being able to honor Peoples Park and the Black Market that was once located there,” said Erin Predmore, President & CEO of the Chamber. “Many people in Bloomington are unaware of the history of this park and the injustice that led to the end of the Black Market, and the Chamber and our Black-Owned Business Affinity Group are on a mission to change that.”
The Chamber will be livestreaming the installation of the marker on our Facebook page. Click here for the Chamber press release.
Kirk White, Indiana University's Assistant Vice President – Strategic Partnerships, has joined the board of the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce. The board unanimously approved his appointment at their May 28 meeting.
At IU, Kirk is responsible for coordinating national defense and homeland security partnerships with state and federal government agencies, as well as IU’s relationships with local government and economic development organizations in southwest Indiana. He served eight years as a member of the Bloomington City Council (1988–95) and one term as Monroe County commissioner (1997–2000).
Kirk recently returned from active duty as a colonel in the U.S. Army. He was the officer in charge of Task Force Spartan – Jordan, a forward command post of Task Force Spartan in Southwest Asia, where he oversaw the military partnership between the U.S. Army and Jordan Armed Forces.
He joins the Chamber's 18-member board in June. The group meets monthly and provides oversight and guidance for the 501(c)6 organization.
Thanks to the generosity of Cook Medical, the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce is distributing face masks and hand sanitizer to local businesses and organizations in Bloomington/Monroe County.
Access to this PPE (personal protective equipment) is on a first come, first serve basis. Masks can be requested in increments of 50, up to 100 masks per week. Businesses and organizations also have the option of a one-time request for a 1-gallon bottle of hand sanitizer, made by Cardinal Spirits.
The PPE is free with a $5 handling fee per request.
Click here to make a request for PPE. More resources are posted on the Chamber's Back to Business site.
Need to learn more about candidates in the June 2, 2020 primary election? The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce is helping inform voters with a new resource site.
The Chamber's guide to the 2020 Primary Elections includes videos of one-on-one interviews with candidates in local, state and federal races, and candidates' written responses to questions from the Chamber. You'll also find links to campaign websites and social media for the candidates, if available.
This year, there are competitive primary races for Monroe County Council at-large seats, Monroe County Circuit Court, the Indiana legislature and the District 9 U.S. Congressional seat.
All registered voters can vote by mail in the primary. Click here to apply for your ballot online.
Director of Advocacy & Public Policy