Axne zooms with black enterprise house owners at Wednesday spherical desk
Rep. Cindy Axne (IA-03) hosted a virtual round table Wednesday afternoon with Jayne Armstrong, district director of the Small Business Administration (SBA), and around 20 black business owners and nonprofit directors from Iowa’s Third Congressional District.
DES MOINES, Iowa – Rep. Cindy Axne (IA-03) hosted a virtual round table Wednesday afternoon with Jayne Armstrong, district director of the Small Business Administration (SBA), and approximately 20 black business owners and nonprofit directors from the Iowa Third Congressional District.
The hour-long roundtable discussion gave business owners and community leaders the opportunity to talk about how they kept their doors open during the COVID-19 pandemic and how they plan to steer the months ahead.
Axne opened the discussion with an update on the new COVID-19 relief laws, which are expected to be passed next week. Armstrong has advised business owners and community leaders of the recovery resources available to black-owned companies.
The general discussion was started by Teree Caldwell-Johnson, a member of the Des Moines Public School Board and chairman of the Directors Council, a coalition of community leaders committed to improving the lives of people living in the Des Moines neighborhoods.
The following people took part in the round table:
- Dana James, founder of Black Iowa News – Des Moines
- Stoy Hall, CEO / Founder of Black Mammoth Financial Planning – West Des Moines
- Deidre DeJear, founder of Caleo Enterprises – Des Moines
- State representative Ako Abdul-Samad, founder of the Human Development Institute of Creative Visions – Des Moines
- Teree Caldwell-Johnson, Chairman of the Directors Council and CEO of Oakridge Neighborhood Services – Des Moines
- Kameron Middlebrooks, Iowa State University minority expansion and outreach coordinator for African and African American Small Businesses and Nonprofits – Des Moines
- Fred Buie, President of Keystone Electrical Manufacturing and currently Chairman of the Greater Des Moines Partnership Board – Des Moines
- Matt Gilbert, Esq., Lawyer and Executive Consultant at MRG International Business Consulting – Des Moines
- Exodus Bargblor, Owner / CEO of Stylent Brands Clothing – West Des Moines
- Jeremiah Johnson, clothing by Stylent Brands – West Des Moines
- Elijah Muhammad, owner of the unorthodox gym and crossfit athlete – Grimes
- Izaah Knox, Executive Director or Urban Dreams Nonprofit – Des Moines
- Dwana Bradley, Editor / Editor-in-Chief of Urban Experience Magazine – Des Moines
- Marquas “MarKaus” Ashworth, owner of Ziyad Rye Spirits and hip-hop artist – Des Moines
- LaTonya Shook, licensed massage therapist and manager of the Zone of Comfort – Urbandale wellness / therapeutic massage center
- Lu Spaine, owner / operator of Zumi’s womenswear and home decor business – Des Moines
- Jayne Armstrong, Iowa small business administrative director – Des Moines
- Lori Hackney, Iowa Small Business Administration Team – Des Moines
- Dawnelle Conley, Iowa Small Business Administration Team – Des Moines
- Meg Schneider, senior vice president of business resources and community development for the Greater Des Moines Partnership – Des Moines
The meeting was broken off a few minutes earlier when Axne was called to a vote in the US House of Representatives. However, she encouraged attendees to keep in touch with her office and Armstrong while the Iowa economy recovers.