Jul 14, 2020 07:02PM
By T S
Omaha Magazine spoke with Carmen Tapio, founder and CEO of North End Teleservices, about this collaborative list of black-owned businesses. She discussed the process and their plans to expand the list to include other minority-owned businesses across Nebraska in the future. Find the list here.
The specific action that prompted us to develop the list was there has not been a comprehensive Black business list in our community. There are partial lists that focus on a specific type of service or product and we’ve been thinking about how to bring more equity and inclusiveness to the business environment. We thought it was important to make a comprehensive list available so that consumers and businesses could engage with black owned businesses. The list is a way to help support supplier diversity in business.
I don’t think we fully understand the richness of diversity in the business offerings that we have in our community. We wanted to bring focus to that and frankly, I believe in small businesses doing business with each other, so I try to help out other small businesses as much as possible.
We developed the list when working on another project. There were different organizations and individuals that contributed initially. Winsley Durand III with the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce contributed REACH business names, B.C. Clark with Nebraska Enterprise Fund contributed business names, and Tim Clark with Metropolitan Community College also contributed names. I handed the project to my assistant Camelea Mendoza, who took the ball and ran, finding even more businesses and attempting to contact every one of them to verify their information. The list currently contains over 350 businesses and we want it to include many, many more.
What I hope to accomplish by promoting the list is:
One, an awareness of the diversity and richness of the types of businesses that exist in our community, and our intention is to take this statewide.
Two, I hope that people and businesses will start, or continue to, engage with and support these businesses because small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy and minority businesses have an opportunity to be significant contributors to that.
Three, I hope again that we expand this list to other minority businesses, and we are starting to work on a Latinx list. We hope the list represents businesses statewide, not just Omaha.
For interested businesses, there is a form on the website to submit information.