“Spending Black and Putting Back” is the theme of the Atlanta Business League’s (ABL) Sixth Annual Congress on the State of Black Business, March 19, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the Allen Entrepreneurial Institute in Lithonia.

As the metropolitan area’s leading business organization for African-American owned enterprises, the ABL annually convenes the “Congress” to address how Blacks can leverage more than $1 trillion in consumer spending as fuel for the organization’s “5% Solution” campaign.

The initiative encourages African-American consumers, businesses and organizations to increase annual spending with Black businesses by 5 percent. It also recommends that Black businesses increase their annual giving to Black community organizations at the same amount. Further, the event includes a series of hearings to develop a “National Black Business Blueprint” – an actionable plan to promote economic development in African-American communities.

“The concept of the 5% Solution campaign is simple — if we, as consumers, increase our spending at Black-owned establishments by a mere 5 percent, the impact will ignite a robust economic movement within our community,” said Joseph Hudson, vice chair for the ABL Public Policy Committee. “The Congress is not a social event; it is an economic discussion. It is about financial independence and job creation.”

In September 2012, reported, “With a collective buying power estimated to reach $1.1 trillion by 2015, Black consumers remain at the forefront of social trends and media consumption…”

“These numbers are the reason why we began the Congress six years ago and should have impacted Atlanta’s African-American community via greater job creation and overall economic growth,” affirmed Hudson. “We have power that we have yet to leverage.”

This year’s opening plenary speaker is the nationally-recognized Dr. Claud Anderson, author of PowerNomics®: The National Plan to Empower Black America. Renowned civil rights leader, author, educator and entrepreneur, Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr. will serve as the keynote speaker for the event’s signature luncheon.

Registration fees for the Congress on the State of Black Business start at $80 for a general delegate ticket and include a continental breakfast and lunch. Attendees will walk away with the “National Black Business Blueprint” decided upon that day. Registration is available at or by calling the ABL office at 404 584-8126. The Allen Entrepreneurial Institute is located at 3235 Evans Mill Road in Lithonia, Ga.

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