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Business and Black History Month – SBA speaker, Henry Hodge

There are more than 130,000 Black-owned businesses across America. The Small Business Administration Rhode Island District Office has many services available to aspiring business owners, entrepreneurs and established businesses.

As they recognize Black History Month they note that the 1800s saw the creation of many businesses, including insurance companies, banks, and newspapers. The first Black insurance company, The African Insurance Company, was founded in Philadelphia, PA in 1810. The first Black newspaper, Freedom’s Journal, was founded in New York, NY in 1827. However, by the end of the century, many gains made after the enslavement ended were lost due to Jim Crow, Black Codes, segregation, and theft. The 20th century began with the formation of the National Negro Business League (currently the National Business League), and the ushering in of the “Golden Age of Black business”, named so by historian, Juliet E. K. Walker. This lasted from approximately 1900 to 1930, most likely ending due to The Great Depression which was from 1929-1939, as well as race riots and massacres, including the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot, which was the first time in history the United States bombed its own people. In the first decade of the 21st century, Black businesses experienced the largest growth, adding 0.8 million businesses. The creation of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Protection Act to assist Black-owned businesses procure more federal contracts. This Act also established the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI) which among other duties, develops standards for equal employment opportunity and the racial, ethnic, and gender diversity of the workforce. The years 2020-2021 saw racial unrest coupled with a pandemic, but also spurred a rebuilding of Black/African American business and economic bases.

For key stats, view a timeline of important events, and resources to help Black-owned businesses start, grow, expand, or recover, go to:

On Monday, February 7th at 11am, Mark Harward, SBA District Director will recognize Black History Month with an online presentation with local black business owner Henry Hodge. They will discuss a variety of topics of interest to the black business community, as well as how Henry utilized various resources to help his business grow into the success it is today, and how others can take advantage of those resources too.

About Henry Hodge:

Mr. Hodge is the founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of HCH Enterprises, LLC., a Rhode Island-based Information Technology (IT) company. Mr. Hodge, in his various capacities, provides direct engineering and IT support services to federal, state and county governments, and private industry, and he also serves as a technical lead and oversight manager for many of HCH’s contract engagements. 

Mr. Hodge has owned and operated HCH for over twenty (20) years with its success firmly founded upon his 30+ years of advanced knowledge and training in information systems engineering and cybersecurity technology. Mr. Hodge currently holds multiple industry-specific certifications germane to the information technology field, including a previously held Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification.

Click the link below next Monday at 11:00am to watch live!

Mondays with Mark

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