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Meet the Man That Helped Black Business Owners Access Millions of Dollars of Funding in a Pandemic

Harrison L. Blair of Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce honored by D CEO.
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When the oldest Black chamber of commerce in the country decided to appoint their youngest president to date, they knew they were making a bold move and a signal of their longevity.

Harrison L. Blair, who has been in the role of president at the Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce for over a year, can say that the chamber’s longevity is on track to go many years to come. In the 94 years of the chamber’s existence, it has helped advocate for Black-owned businesses in the North Texas area, and Blair intends to keep that legacy going. But no one knew just how vital Blair’s first year of leadership would be.

Throughout this pandemic, Black-owned businesses have been some of the most negatively affected businesses in the country. In order to address this disparity, Blair and the chamber knew they had to do more, and that they did.

Blair and the chamber have since helped over 300 businesses gain access to over $5 million in funding to help these companies rebound and go into the future stronger.

Cynt Marshall, Rick Carlisle, Harrison L. Blair, Darren L. James at the 2020 Ignite the Lights celebration. Courtesy of Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce

After securing funding, Blair knew that it was still essential to put on some of the chamber’s annual programs that honor Black-owned businesses. Programs like the Quest for Success, a platform designed to promote Black businesses and nonprofits in the North Texas region who are doing outstanding business and assisting the community.

Blair has not accomplished all of these things by himself. He is supported by the Chairman of the Board and fellow D CEO Dallas 500 for 2021, Darren L. James. The chamber has also welcomed Jade Tinner as Vice President, Community Investment, and Sade Whitmore as Director of Operations.

“I am honored to be named one of D CEO’s Dallas 500 2021, especially after only being in this role for a little over a year. It really is a testament to the support I have received from the community in being able to service this role”, says Harrison L. Blair.

To find out more about Harrison L. Blair and the Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce, go to