Community Connections Spotlight: Elk City Auto Spa, L&R Human Resource Consulting, LLC, Alexandria Primary Care Clinic

Community Connections Spotlight: Elk City Auto Spa, L&R Human Resource Consulting, LLC, Alexandria Primary Care Clinic

Community Connections Spotlight: Elk City Auto Spa, L&R Human Resource Consulting, LLC, Alexandria Primary Care Clinic 

This August, we celebrate National Black Business Month, which was founded in 2004 as a partnership between Frederick E. Jordan, an engineering entrepreneur, and John William Templeton, President and Executive Editor of scholarly publishing company eAccess Corp. Jordan discovered that there were few financing options for Black entrepreneurs when he began his own company in 1969. Thus, National Black Business Month was created to spotlight Black business ownership and motivate support for Black-owned businesses across our nation.

At Optimum Business, we understand how support of National Black Business Month is particularly vital given the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 on Black communities. Even before the pandemic, minority entrepreneurs, who own 37% of all U.S. businesses, faced greater challenges in launching, maintaining, and growing their companies. This is why we are proud to partner with theCoalition to Back Black Businesses (CBBB) - a multi-year initiative launched in September 2020 by American Express, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, and the nation's leading Black chambers to support Black small businesses as they recover from the pandemic and chart a path forward. This initiative will provide over $13 million in grants, training, and resources to empower Black-owned small businesses through 2024. Si le interesa solicitar la próxima ronda de financiación, el período de solicitud abrirá en septiembre de 2021. Para obtener más información, visite

As part of our involvement with CBBB, we recently provided $25,000 enhancement grants to 3 Black-owned small businesses. The funding will help them emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic and support their long-term success - whether the goal is to develop a stronger online presence or open a new location.

Small Business owners Melanie LaCour of Alexandria Primary Care Clinic, Mary L. Weber of L&R Human Resource Consulting, LLC, and C. Anthony Parker of Elk City Auto Spa, are three enhancement grant recipients who have also benefitted from the mentorship provided by the CBBB.

Quote from Melanie LaCour from Alexandria Primary Care Clinic

Alexandria Primary Care Clinic serves the uninsured, underinsured and members of the local community of Alexandria, Louisiana. The clinic provides acute, chronic, and preventative medical services to all patients 18 years and older. Melanie LaCour is a family nurse practitioner with over 20 years of experience in the medical field. Currently serving over 200 patients, Alexandria Primary Care Clinic strives to provide compassionate and holistic care to all. 

 "The Coalition to Back to Black Businesses $5,000 grant has allowed our business to purchase the necessary medical equipment, office supplies, staffing, and increase our marketing and advertising reach," states LaCour. "My mentors have given me the guidance and confidence needed to succeed. The enhancement grant will be used to hire staff, add specialty equipment, and improve access to services."

Quote from Mary L. Weber of L & R Human Resource Consulting

L&R Human Resource Consulting, LLC, located in Bossier City, Louisiana, is composed of certified, skilled human resource professionals who provide personal development training (i.e., diversity and inclusion, workplace culture, harassment), leadership coaching, policy creation & revisions, handbook creations, onsite HR investigations, HR compliance audits, and stress management solutions to small and corporate businesses. Additionally, the company gives back by providing free community-based services, free resume writing services, mock interview training, and job readiness classes to select non-profit agencies. 

"The Coalition to Back to Black Businesses has impacted my business thus far by vastly increasing my ability to purchase training computers, supplies, and equipment needed to pivot to virtual training and development options," states Weber. "Having a mentor has also given me the ability to enhance my business concept, increase advertising/marketing strategies, and streamline my target market to increase profitability. I plan on using this enhancement grant to gain greater knowledge in the social media marketing arena. Additionally, it will help me provide job readiness sessions to more non-profit agencies to empower those underserved individuals in local communities to compete for job openings with heightened self-confidence."

Quote from Anthony Parker of Elk Auto Spa

Elk City Auto Spa is a family-owned, full-service auto detailing company located in downtown Charleston, West Virginia. Elk City Auto Spa specializes in engine bay detailing, exterior wax and buffing, interior deep cleaning, shampooing carpets and seats, and works to transform a car from just an ordinary vehicle to a pristine automobile that customers are proud to drive. 

In response to the opportunity provided by the CBBB, Parker states, "The Coalition to Back to Black Businesses $5,000 grant was a blessing in disguise during COVID. It allowed us to pay building leases, maintain employee payroll, and buy equipment needed for operations. The enhancement grant will help with hiring, reopening our second location, equipment purchases, a facelift of buildings, and launch of our mobile detailing and private jet division."

At Optimum Business, we are committed to providing connectivity solutions that help Black-owned business owners thrive. To hear more stories and tips from our small business community and access resources to support your business, visit theOptimum Business Small Business Resource Hub