Gulf Coast Minority Chamber of Commerce

Gulf Coast Minority Chamber of Commerce

Opening up new avenues for small businesses and new doors for those who feel shut out were the dual goals for a local and state-run workshop held last week in Pensacola.

Sponsored by the City of Pensacola, Gulf Coast Minority Chamber of Commerce and the Office of Supplier Diversity in Tallahassee, the Exchange drew more than 140 attendees from 14 counties in Florida, Georgia, and Alabama. The Floridians represented Escambia, Okaloosa and Leon counties.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

In an effort to get more diversity in the city of Pensacola, the head of a local chamber of commerce is out with a new program.

“I do see a trend that we’re losing some of our top minority leaders that we have in numerous roles; and when you lose that diversity, you lose that ability to see that ‘reverse role models’ that our young professionals can look up to and emulate in our community,” said Brian Wyer, president of the Gulf Coast Minority Chamber of Commerce and the force behind “I Love Diverse Cities.”

The initiative contains three challenges for the community.

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

For Black History Month, the Haas Center at the University of West Florida is collaborating with the Gulf Coast Minority Chamber of Commerce to present “We the People,” a demographic overview of African Americans in the Pensacola metro area. The goal of the report is to get a sense of their economic impact locally.