Local entrepreneurs and small business owners attend Senator Tim Kearney and Rep. Gina H. Curry’s 3rd Annual Black & Diverse Business Forum at DCCC on Feb. 24.

DELAWARE COUNTY, PAFebruary 29, 2024 – On Saturday, Senator Tim Kearney and state Rep. Gina H. Curry hosted a free resource fair for local minority entrepreneurs and business owners at Delaware County Community College (DCCC).

As in years past, the 3rd Annual Black & Diverse Business Forum featured more than a dozen subject-matter panelists who offered attendees business tips and resources on topics ranging from the basics of entrepreneurship to certifications and different ways to access capital. This year, panelists also briefly touched on the importance of marketing and social media strategies. The forum also featured a business round-robin panel, where representatives from 14 local businesses and organizations gave guests insight into specific opportunities their companies offered to Black and diverse businesses.

“I am proud to continue hosting this forum for the third year in a row alongside Rep. Curry,” said Senator Kearney. “We are both committed to equity and opportunity. Supporting entrepreneurs and small business owners of color is not just a duty but a necessity in fostering economic empowerment and diversity in our communities. This forum is one pathway that helps them access free resources and opportunities to thrive, ensuring that their voices and contributions are valued and amplified.”

“I felt energized seeing so many diverse business owners come out to our event,” said Rep. Curry. “The great part about what Senator Kearney and I are doing is connecting different people from all over our district with free resources that can help them thrive in their businesses. Every year we receive positive feedback, and with the added resources, new keynote speaker and panelists, this year exceeded our expectations.” 

This year, Senator Kearney and Rep. Curry were excited to welcome Patricia Banks, CEO and Founder of Girls Auto Clinic and the Shecanic brand in Upper Darby to serve as the keynote speaker. Banks, an engineer turned auto technician, founded the Girls Auto Clinic Repair Center in 2017 after having negative experiences with mechanics. With the desire to empower women, Banks opened the repair shop which caters to women clientele and is staffed by women. She has been featured in local and national publications, including PEOPLE magazine, NPR, and the Huffington Post. During her remarks, Bank spoke about her own entrepreneurial journey and the importance of taking advantage of local resources.

“I really got my start with mentorship and funding from SCORE. I didn’t know how to write a business plan and I got a lot of help in that area,” said Banks. “Being someone that didn’t know anything shouldn’t make you afraid. It shouldn’t intimidate you that you don’t know money or business. There are absolutely resources and businesses that are out there and want you to succeed.”

Senator Kearney and Rep. Curry would like to thank everyone who helped to make the event a success, including Wawa for sponsoring the event.

A recording of the forum can be viewed here.  The photo gallery from the event is online.