The Mill Valley Chamber has closely tracked the City of Mill Valley's extensive DEI Work Plan, an extensive document filled with items that spanned from housing and police to cultural and recreational opportunities. There were also recommendations that focused on supporting and expand opportunities for our BIPOC business community.
Here are some updates on that work:
- A partnership with SCORE.org, a long-standing organization affiliated with the SBA that offers “free business mentoring, low-cost or no-cost business training, and numerous templates and tools” to help entrepreneurs start or grow a business. 10,000 advisors, nationwide. Clients are matched with business experts, most of whom are retired business professionals who advise on marketing, accounting, operations, sales and HR issues. The target audience are businesses and nonprofits. These mentoring sessions are free! Meet their mentors. And sign up here.
- The Chamber also recently worked with SCORE on a pilot networking exercise with our Board of Directors as a test-run of a facilitated BIPOC business owner/manager roundtable in the coming weeks, allowing attendees to connect and identify ways to work together and support each other. The networking exercise was a huge hit.
- We're expanding our existing partnership with Marin Small Business Development Center. The MV Chamber already works closely with the MarinSBDC, co-sponsoring ongoing Educational Webinars on key business topics (pre-COVID), and promoting their business relief-related webinars and trainings throughout the COVID-19 crisis and much more. Marin SBDC has 15 “expert advisors” on their team willing to provide individual business development counseling. Chamber will continue to direct BIPOC businesses with financing, educational and business development needs towards Marin SBDC trainings and resources and one-on-one support when appropriate.
- In addition to providing the above support to our existing membership, the Mill Valley Chamber extended free one-year memberships to any Marin City nonprofit organization who wanted access to our resources, particularly the power of our promotional, educational and informational, as well as our ability to connect those nonprofits with colleagues in Mill Valley for potential collaboration.
- The inclusion of our Marin City neighbor nonprofits allowed us to include them in another one of our BIPOC-oriented initiatives, the Marin Independent Journal- and Marin Community Foundation-led WeAreOneMarin.com campaign, which showcases and promotes one Marin BIPOC business every week. (Mill Valley has utilized six slots this year).