Terre Haute, Ind.- When LT Thompson joined the Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce almost a year ago, the goal of starting a thriving Black Business Alliance (BBA) in Terre Haute was still just an idea. Now he looks to lead the BBA into this year with his sights set on an even brighter future.
“While the process of getting the BBA started has been challenging, it’s been exciting and refreshing,” said Thompson. “Black owned businesses in West Central Indiana were in need of a unified community and we’ve started to establish one.”
Thompson is no stranger to running a business. He and his wife Bonnie have owned and operated Wellness Box in downtown Terre Haute for 7 years. “What stands out to me is the amount of people who have reached out to say ‘this is a much needed position,’ or that ‘it’s about time,’” he explained.
Regular BBA meetings have been held at the Chamber’s downtown office and around Terre Haute with current and prospective business owners in attendance. The goals of the group have been evolving since the group’s inception. A highlight for Thompson was meeting with State leaders like Deputy Chief and Executive Director of External Equity Anthony Phillips II.
The BBA held the first annual Pitch Black competition at Launch Terre Haute in June of 2022. Tawana Hemphill won the competition to help her get Kiss of the South, her southern food catering and takeout service. Thompson said the event saw a great turnout of Black entrepreneurs.
Looking ahead to the second year of BBA’s existence there are plenty of opportunities for growth. “Getting the next generation of black business leaders the resources we need is crucial to growing the community,” Thompson said.
Anyone interested in joining the BBA as a member should contact Thompson at Lthompson@terrehautechamber.com or reach out to the Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce for more information.