Welcome to the African American Chamber of Commerce of Western Pennsylvania.

Hello, my name is Doris Carson Williams, President of the African American Chamber of Commerce of Western Pennsylvania. Our mission is to promote access and business opportunities for African American business owners and professionals throughout the region.

Please take a moment to browse our website to see the products and services our members & partners offer.We update this site on a regular basis, adding new members, companies, and sponsors as they join our organization. Membership Benefits include: Health, Life, & Disability Insurance, Dental, Vision, Payroll services, Discount Automobile Insurance, Special Programs, Networking Events, and many more. Our Presidential Roundtable Members & Corporate Sponsors are also featured. For more information on becoming a member of the African American Chamber, you may write us at:

Conversation at WQED, Click video screen above to see conversation with Michael Bartley & Doris Carson Williams

Koppers Building
436 Seventh Avenue, Suite 2220
Pittsburgh, Pa. 15219
Call: (412) 392-0610
Fax: (412) 392-0612
Email: information@aaccwp.com

Mission

The mission of the African American Chamber of Commerce of Western Pennsylvania is to continuously improve business and professional opportunities for African American Business owners and professionals. Guided by the core values of equity in opportunity, economic advancement, self-sufficiency and entrepreneurial excellence, we will seek to advance economic parity for the African American Business community by insuring full participation in the public and private sectors throughout the region.

Our Core Values (click here)

Equity in opportunity

Small businesses are vital to the U.S. economy! They are the engine which ignites the vitality felt perhaps even more keenly at the local and state levels. Local economies are made to shrivel or thrive on the basis of the rate of new jobs created and maintained whether the national economy is in growth or receding. The Allegheny County, Pennsylvania region is seen as having, largely, reinvented itself in the face of the 2008 recession from which opportunities continue to abound. Whether the minority business cache benefits from this abundance is a matter of the presence and extent of opportunity. The African American Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to fostering multiple avenues to identify, create and sustain opportunities for its members and the general small business sector to thrive in this environment of growth. We work directly with corporations and the public sector to maximize opportunities for African American Business Owners and Professionals to gain access on doing business and to move their firms to the next level of engagement. It is our belief that equal opportunities for minority businesses help to position our region as a vibrant area for small business development.

Economic Advancement

The Chamber is interested in the economic advancement of the region as manifested in the social, financial and civic health of its businesses, communities, and citizens. We remain focused African American, Hispanic, Native American, women, and other minorities who statistically lag behind the general population in indicators of health, wealth, and successful pursuit of generally-defined indicators of wellbeing.   Pittsburgh Today reported that “Pittsburgh’s gross domestic product (GDP) increased 3.3 percent and had the fifth-highest rate of growth from 2014 to 2015.” And, the average annual wage has grown faster in the region than it has in the nation for eight of the last nine years. Yet, other studies find that among 15 benchmark regions, African Americans post unequal rates in indicators of wellbeing such as poverty levels and home ownership. A 2014 update of a 1994 economic benchmarks study found Blacks in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County suffering the lowest economic wellbeing of all 50 benchmark MSAs. Both database analyses and survey responses reflect an unequal enjoyment of the advancements of the region. The Chamber must be vigilant in knowing and understanding the implications of indicators of disparity and for identifying and implementing strategies for redressing those disparities. Advancements in the vitality and effectiveness of African American businesses can go a long way in intervening in the persistence of economic disparities. The Chamber continues to work to establish relationships with important organizations, institutions and people that are leading the region’s business sector. These relationships help spawn the corporate, community to help strengthen minority and small business owners, leveraging our access to aid in improving business owners and professionals’ ability to create material wealth for their business enterprise.

Self Sufficiency

While the enormity and persistence of the disparities in economic wellbeing of African Americans and other minorities in the region cannot be erased by singular strategies, it is still postulated that substantial inroads can be achieved by the strengthening and increase of African American business endeavors in this region. A combination of serious efforts from major business to reach out to and employ minority workers at all levels in concert with highly successful achievements in African American entrepreneurial efforts can proffer opportunities for self-sufficiency in businesses, communities and their individual citizens. The objective of the Chamber is to aid African American Business Owners and Professionals in becoming independent and having the ability to sustain themselves. This will be accomplished through programs and events produced through the Chamber’s Business Institute.

Entrepreneurial Excellence

The Chamber was founded on the premise that excellence in entrepreneurship will do much to encourage success in individual businesses, communities, and the region as a whole. The Business Institute was conceived as an effective instrument to provide ways for individual business owners and clusters of businesses to pursue the training, knowledge and opportunities associated with proven pathways to excellence and to share the successes achieved from them. Through the Chamber’s programs and services, the goal is to insure Chamber Members achieve a level of performance that will take them to the next level of engagement and will carry them into the next decade with the ability to mentor and help new entrepreneurs begin their journey.

Vision & Goals

The vision of the African American Chamber of Commerce is to be the central conduit for African American Business access in all of Western Pennsylvania and to collaborate with other entities, agencies and organizations in support of our mission. Aimed at creating a level playing field to achieve economic parity, the African American Chamber of Commerce will promote the economic agenda of African American business people through advocacy for business access, educational programs, mentoring and member services aimed at empowerment and self-sufficiency. In addition, we will establish key linkages and partnerships with both the African American and business communities throughout the region.

Officers:

Chairman: Mr. Samuel Stephenson
President: Mrs Doris Carson Williams
Vice Chairman: Mr. Louis Alexander
Treasurer: Ms. Cheryl Allen
Secretary: Ms. Ann Rucker

Annual Reports

A copy of the Chamber’s 990 information is available in our office upon request.

“Striving to Achieve Economic Parity”