President’s Message 2022 emerged with a ray of hope that the effects of the pandemic would soon be over.  And while that was not fully realised due to ongoing challenges (including our inability to meet with you in person), the DRABPE team stayed committed , remaining involved in a number of projects with the Government of Canada, Alterna Credit UnionOntario Tech/Brilliant CatalystNobelium, and Geekspeakcommerce and have been excited to work with these partners and thank them for their support.Among our proudest achievements is the building and launching of our business directory and we invite you to be a part by signing up below. So as we approach 2023, we look forward to growing the Directory’s registrations, attracting partnerships, and adding Directors have been some changes in our leadership where our team has grown with the addition of four new directors, namely, Trevin Noble, Keeshon Bonterre, Carlene Honigan, and Susan Blake. However, Frederica Black (co-founder of DRABPE),  due to the demands of her growing career and expanding business interests, has stepped away from her role as Vice President.  We are eternally grateful to Frederica for her tireless work over the past five years and are proud of her contributions and achievements. We recommit to our objective of helping to ensure an increase in the community’s “share of the wallet,” and have outlined a list of goals that will work as guiding principles on our journey to transform the Black business community in Durham. These goals include:

  1. Creating opportunities for Black professionals to gain mutual support and encouragement.
  2. Offering resources that will include insight into basic finance, accounting, marketing, and customer service skills for new entrepreneurs.
  3. Assisting professionals and businesses with raising their profiles through inclusion in trade fairs and symposiums.
  4. Mentorship programs with young professionals.

We are still here to assist Black businesses to make inroads into the community and navigate the barriers that are preventing individuals from starting and growing their businesses. This is at the heart of DRABPE’s vision and we hold fast to this.Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and to successful 2023Regards,Dane Lawrence, CSP