The Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce and Stark County Minority Business Association (SCMBA) are pleased to a announce a partnership to better serve small and minority businesses in the region. The SCMBA has established a dedicated office within the Chamber’s downtown location (222 Market Ave. N, Canton, OH 44702) to more closely align the efforts of the organizations, both of which serve business members throughout Stark County and beyond.

The SCMBA is a 501(C) (3) organization comprised of business leaders invested in the economic growth of Stark County community and beyond.  Since its inception in 2008, the organization has grown its scope and members, focusing on improved communications and collaboration between minority businesses and the other entrepreneurs in and throughout the Stark County area.

The Chamber recently completed a strategic plan update which includes a goal to “provide superior and recognizable value to members through health care, the Small Business Growth Network, member business events and networking for women, minority and retail businesses.” The strategic plan also includes an objective to potentially offer office space to small businesses and/or non-profits.

“The alignment of our organizations helps better serve the small business and minority business communities, as well as supports the Chamber’s strategic objectives,” said Dennis Saunier, president and CEO of the Chamber. “The move is an important step as the Chamber works toward our goal of greater diversity and inclusiveness in the business community.”

“By working closer with the Chamber both in proximity and service to the business community, it enables us to work on projects and initiatives more efficiently and mindfully, with shared outcomes in mind,” said Leonard Stevens, CEO of SCMBA.

As part of the move, Stevens and Secretary/Coordinator Will Dent will serve as advisory members of the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors which meets on a bi-monthly basis. The Chamber is offering the office space to SCMBA at no cost.  

On Monday, October 14 at noon, the Chamber will host a ribbon cutting ceremony and program announcing the partnership. As part of the program, Rep. Thomas West will make an announcement regarding funding for the SCMBA secured through the state budget, and JobsOhio CEO J.P. Nauseef will also announce a strategic expansion benefitting SCMBA.