Virtual Workshop Recap: How to Keep Your Business Relevant During COVID-19 with Jean Perpillant

In case you missed it, check out the full recording of "How to Keep Your Business Relevant During COVID-19" with Jean Perpillant.

Webinar Summary

With most of the country practicing shelter-in-place we’ve seen cancellations of conventions, networking events, meetings, and other types of professional and industry gatherings. While most people are stuck at home, they're going to be spending a lot of time on their mobile devices browsing social platforms like Tik Tok, Instagram, and LinkedIn. This presentation is going to help you identify ways that you can be creating engaging content on each platform as well as tools and apps to make it easy to do on your own without having to hire out help.

Subscribe to never miss an AACCCF workshop, webinar, or event recap: https://bit.ly/2VyCAo2

The Empowerment Virtual Workshop Series

With COVID-19 keeping many of us inside and working from home, the African American Chamber of Central Florida decided to keep our workshops alive...but online. These workshops are  the perfect educational tools leading up to our Empowerment Business Conference in August!

Meet The Speaker: Jean Perpillant 
www.designtheory.com


Medical Professionals Roundtable: COVID-19 & African American Health Disparities

In case you missed it, check out the full recording of "Medical Professionals Roundtable: COVID-19 & African American Health Disparities".

Meet The Speakers:

(Coming Soon)

 

 


Visiting Black Owned Businesses Around Orlando With Russell Drake

As an AACCCF Member, Senior Systems Engineer at Lockheed Martin, and Vice President of the Democratic Black Caucus of Florida, Russell Drake has been really busy lately. He's proving that coronavirus can't keep us down, as he visits multiple black owned small businesses in Central Florida. You may recall his curated list of Black Owned Restaurants that we shared on #407 Day, a day designated by the city of Orlando to support small businesses with takeout orders and delivery orders. Now he's back with over 80 days worth of small business highlights! 

Explore all of his posts to see who is open for business and exactly how you can support them during these challenging times.

We've dropped some of his most recent highlights below:

Najah Hines Design (Yes, she is Chamber Staff as well!)

https://www.instagram.com/p/B_dxaQZJ3fH/

Rib Runners

Seafood Bandits

https://www.instagram.com/p/B_Y8Wz-p8gn/

We Care Dental Center

https://www.instagram.com/p/B_WVRjCpVCB/

SMILE Ice Cream Company

https://www.instagram.com/p/B-6H-Rupdz6/

Edmond Law

https://www.instagram.com/p/B-cQfZ5JeTB/

 

Stay Tuned! Follow Russell on Instagram and Facebook to view all past highlights and never miss a beat on his upcoming features.


Virtual Town Hall with Senator Marco Rubio & FL Representative Kamia Brown

In case you missed it, check out the full recording of our Virtual Town Hall with Senator Marco Rubio & FL Representative Kamia Brown at the beginning stages of COVID-19.

The Empowerment Virtual Workshop Series

With COVID-19 keeping many of us inside and working from home, the African American Chamber of Central Florida decided to keep our workshops alive...but online. These workshops are  the perfect educational tools leading up to our Empowerment Business Conference in August!


Don't Procrastinate Filing Your 2019 Business Taxes

It's Tax Day...but not really. Tax Day was moved along with many other aspects of our lives in the wake of the current COVID-19 outbreak. We understand that this is already a stressful time for small business owners, but we must urge you not to make it any more stressful and take action now to get ahead of your taxes if you haven't already done so. You may have had to shut your doors, you may be in a touch place trying to crunch numbers to keep staff on the payroll, but don't let your taxes become one more thing that keeps you up at night. We have three tips to help.

1.) With the current state of our national workforce, most of you are probably reading this from your home office or couch, so let's start with an obvious one. Deduct your home office. With the current circumstances, we have a feeling more people will be able to do this for 2020 taxes than ever before, but for those of you who already worked from home in 2019 you can do this right now! 

2.) Don't wait until the new deadline. Today, April 15, 2020 was the original Tax Day, but it was moved in light of the nationwide shutdown. Just because the government has extended the due date until July 15th, doesn't mean you should wait that long. Earlier is always better to beat the rush, especially if you are expecting a refund. Getting in early was always standard practice, and now it is even more important. With stimulus checks being released, there may be an influx in people reaching out to the IRS. A lot of things are changing, businesses are adjusting, and you may need more time to crunch numbers. All understandable, but promise yourself that you will do whatever you can today, and the next day and the next...and not wait until July.

3.) When in doubt, ask for help. Whether you use an online program like TurboTax and H&R Block, or if you have a CPA that prepares your taxes in person, don't be afraid to ask questions to ensure:

  • You know exactly what you are turning in to the IRS
  • You are accounting for the deductions that you qualify for
  • You feel comfortable with the process

 

Just a reminder, that the African American Chamber of Commerce of Central Florida is here as resource for small businesses especially during these challenging times. Please feel free to contact our staff via email at info@blackcommerce.org.


Member on the Move: SmithBlends


Mondays are for Members on the Move! This week, we are highlighting SmithBlends, a healthy tea company right here in Central Florida. SmithBlends was born last year by a Registered Nurse, Michelle Smith, her daughter, Shola Smith, a Branding and Marketing Executive. 

The Smith Family drew inspiration from their Caribbean heritage and Matriach, Clarice “Winnie” Smith, known for mixing tea blends for her daily immunity boosting regimen. 

 

"Not only do we want communities to take control of their health and wellness, but we also want to share The Smith Family’s tea tradition with the world."

 

 

What is your primary product or service?

We make high quality loose leaf tea and natural iced teas. Our operations are based out of Florida. We make our teas with no preservatives and no fillers. SmithBlends is a great natural alternative for coffee lovers. In addition, our teas are corporate America’s leading "Immune Booster Tea". 

"Every tree was designed to heal and every leaf was created for medicine.” 

Do currently have any promotions?

Yes! The connection with the Chamber has been a HUGE benefit to us! We set up a 15% off discount Promo Code for AACCCFmembers. Promo Code: "AACCCF"


Virtual Workshop Recap: Posting for Profit In Challenging Times with Jaslyn Marcal Ferguson

In case you missed it, check out the full recording of our "Posting for Profit In Challenging Times with Jaslyn Marcal Ferguson" Virtual workshop with Jaslyn Ferguson of Jaslyn Marcal Designs.

Webinar Summary

Join Jaslyn M. Ferguson, Lead Designer and Strategist at Jaslyn Marcal Designs, in a free online webinar on "Posting For Profit In Challenging Times", a social media workshop. This session will focus on defining your social media strategy and how to adapt in times of crisis, emergency, or big news.

You'll Learn:

- The Importance of Social Media in a Crisis

- Social Media Strategic Planning

- Captions and Graphics Best Practice

The Empowerment Virtual Workshop Series

With COVID-19 keeping many of us inside and working from home, the African American Chamber of Central Florida decided to keep our workshops alive...but online. These workshops are  the perfect educational tools leading up to our Empowerment Business Conference in August!

Meet The Speaker: Jaslyn Ferguson 

Jaslyn is an extremely creative thinker with over 10 years of graphic design experience. Her artistic passions lead her to receive Bachelor’s degree in Event Management from The University of Central Florida and then on to establish a career in Social Media Management and Digital Marketing. She's worked with companies both large and small from NBC Universal to local Orlando musical talent.

Contact Jaslyn today to start your next project!

 Create@JaslynMarcal.com www.jaslynmarcal.com 

 

 


Virtual Workshop Recap: Reevaluating Your Business with Reginald Parks,MBA

In case you missed it, check out the full recording of our "Reevaluating Your Business: Actions You Can Do Now Given The Circumstances" Virtual workshop with Reginald Parks, MBA. 

Webinar Summary

Join Reginald Parks, MBA, Creative Director at Reality Marketing Group in a free online webinar on "Reevaluating Your Business: Actions you can do now given the circumstances".

This session will cover various things to be thinking about in this time and how you can be prepared for the unknown in the future. It's a webinar on how to be productive in the now.

You'll Learn:

  • Remote Readiness
  • Sustaining Revenue
  • Business Essentials

The Empowerment Virtual Workshop Series

With COVID-19 keeping many of us inside and working from home, the African American Chamber of Central Florida decided to keep our workshops alive...but online. These workshops are  the perfect educational tools leading up to our Empowerment Business Conference in August!

Meet The Speaker: Reginald Parks, MBA

Reginald is Owner and Creative Director of Reality Marketing Group(RMG) in Orlando Florida. Reality Marketing creates and deploys content that leads to growth for companies in the form of sales. Projects include video production, graphic design, branding, web development and more.

Contact RMG today to start your next project!

 Reginald@RealityMG.com |  www.RealityMG.com

 

 


#407Day Black Owned Restaurants

Orange County and Visit Orlando have designated today, Tuesday, April 7, 2020 as “#407 Day” for residents to show support for local restaurants and their employees.

We partnered with AACCCF Member Russell Drake to highlight black owned eateries in Central Florida! Russell has been connecting with black owned businesses since the start of COVID-19 and has curated the list below as a tool for our community to rally around these small businesses to ensure their survival during this time. Order deliver, buy gift cards, leave a generous tip...we're all in this together!

Don't forget: Residents are encouraged to order takeout/delivery from local restaurants. Be sure to use #407Day and #OrlandoToGo to show off your delicious meals today.

 

District 534 Scratch Kitchen

P&D Soul Food Kitchen

Jesses Rib Shack

Nikki’s Place 

Oley’s Kitchen & Smokehouse

Orlando Famous Pete’s BBQ

Seafood Station (Pine Hills) 

Stonington’s Fried Shrimp (Metrowest) 

Vitality Bowls (Dr Phillips)

Big Lou’s Single Wings Express

Island Thyme Caribbean Island Restaurant (Avalon Park)

Streetwise Urban Food (Near Airport)

Brick & Spoon Maitland 

Mad Crab Seafood & Wings

Soulfood Fantasy Eatonville

Bezerk Nutrition

Something Fishy Seafood

T & T Nutrition 

Wingz Wingzz Wingzzz

Seana’s Caribbean Soul Food 

1000 Degree Pizza & Wings

Bubbalou’s Bodacious BBQ Altamonte

Stonington’s Fried Shrimp Altamonte 

Angel’s Soul Food and BBQ 

Roni's Restaurant

Shantell’s Just Until

 

About Russell Drake

Russell is a member of AACCCF, Motivational Speaker, Civic Strategist, Network Building Extraordinaire...just to name a few descriptors. 
He has made it his mission to be plugged into the Central Florida Small Business community especially during this COVID-19 outbreak, when businesses need everyone's support the most. Russell researched and curated the list above with love and determination for the community. To connect with Russell visit his website.

Member on the Move: Vitality Bowls

 

It's time to spotlight another business! This week, we connected with business owners Harold and Jackie Gattereau. Vitality Bowls is a Superfood Cafe with fresh to order Bowls and smoothies originating from California.  This powerful duo has brought not one, but two locations of Vitality Bowls to Central Florida. The Gattereaus have made an impact in Central Florida's Healthy Food scene and we just had to get details on how their venture into entrepreneurship began! 

 

What is your primary product or service?

Vitality Bowls was created out of a strong commitment to bring health and wellness to every community across the country through fresh, high-quality superfoods. Vitality Bowls specializes in making delicious açaí bowls, which are a thick blend of the açaí berry topped with organic granola and a selection of superfood ingredients. Additional antioxidant-rich menu items include smoothies, fresh juices, soups, salads and panini. All items on the menu are made fresh to order and in a kitchen designed to avoid cross contamination of common food allergens. No ingredient fillers such as ice, frozen yogurt or artificial preservatives are used, giving the purest taste possible to each item.

 What do you think makes Central Florida a special place to do business?

Central Florida is a special place to do business because it’s our home  of 10+ years combined with growth, weather, attractions and a diverse population.  We are the first to franchise the brand in Central Florida.

Who is your target market/audience? 

Everyone that enjoys healthy tasty food.

In your opinion, what makes Central Florida's business community special?

Growth, weather, attractions and diverse population.  We are the first to franchise the brand in Central Florida.

Has COVID-19 impacted your business? 

Business decreases significantly daily.  To better serve our customers, we have transitioned to togo, curbside pickup and delivery only with reduced hours.

 How can people still support you during this time? 

  • Ordering online or via the Vitality Bowls App.  Purchasing Gift cards for friends and family.
  • Vitality Bowls Orlando First Responders and Healthcare Professionals Support:
  • Friends please help us support our local First Responders and Healthcare Professionals. 

       Here’s how it works:

  • For every kids smoothie purchased for our local First Responders and Healthcare Professionals,  we’ll match it and deliver two smoothies 
  • Purchase our gift cards for local First Responders and Healthcare Professionals and we will deliver with free smoothies 
  • Purchase healthy tasty meals for our local First Responders and Healthcare Professionals and we will deliver daily 

You can select the group of First Responders and Healthcare Professionals of your choice or we will select for you.

Our goal is to support 50 local First Responders and Healthcare Professionals daily!  

Current hours of operations:

Monday - Sunday 10am to 6pm daily at Ocoee 

Monday - Saturday 9am to 6pm daily at Dr. Phillips Sunday 10am - 6pm

 

What made you decide to purchase a franchise and how did you choose Vitality Bowls?

We love the idea of not recreating the wheel. Vitality Bowls is an established brand with a network of nationwide franchisees and a proven business model. After researching several business opportunities, Vitality Bowls embraced our lifestyle and our passion with the healthy tasty menu, clean look and feel of the cafe, and transparent kitchen layout.

You have built a business as a couple. What have been some challenges and/or victories in building a business with family?

We successfully launched our first location in Dr Phillips May 2018 and after a year and a half of operations, we recently launched our second location in Ocoee.  Our greatest challenge was understanding the daily operations of the business to grow a successful brand with longevity and then restart in a new market with our second location.  Our greatest challenge continues to be brand recognition and educating our consumers on our healthy tasty menu options. Our greatest victory is partnering as a couple utilizing our strengths, business acumen, and effective communication skills to bridge the gap or erase the stigma associated with healthy eating. 

This month is Financial Literacy Month. With owning your own business, do you intend to leave generational wealth and a legacy for other family members? 

Absolutely!  To provide our family with options to help build a successful future in business ownership.

What is the biggest benefit to joining the AACCCF?  

Connecting and interfacing with our community. AACCCF provides the platform for us to service our community and network with fellow business communities.

 

With COVID-19 social distancing and Stay at Home orders still in affect, there are still many ways to support local businesses. Order a health breakfast of fresh, fruit filled açaí bowls for the whole family this week or bring home paninis for lunch! Check out their website to view the full menu!