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Target Market News has introduced Black Business Chicago, a new monthly which will spotlight news and features on Chicago's African-American businesses, corporate executives and local economic issues. The publication will also be supplemented by a Web site,, that will provide updated coverage of relevant business news on a daily and weekly basis between issues of the monthly print publication. Click for more ____________________________________

Buying Power report: Blacks spend as economy grows
New 16th edition shows $507 bil in spending

The finding comes from the 16th annual edition of "The Buying Power of Black America" report. In 2009, black households spent an estimated $507 billion in 27 product and services categories. ...

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Bob Johnson unveils Website in effort to match minorities, business opportunities

(February 8, 2012) Robert L. Johnson, founder and chairman of The RLJ Companies, in collaboration with Ariel M. Friedler, president of Symplicity Corporation, the market leader in online career tools, today announced the launch of OppsPlace provides companies with the best opportunity to find qualified, minority job seekers and minority businesses in one online destination. OppsPlace is free of charge for job seekers and minority firms and allows corporate human resources and procurement executives to easily access qualified job seekers and qualified minority businesses for openings to provide the best opportunities.

"I created OppsPlace for several reasons," said Johnson. "First to reduce the disparity in unemployment for minority Americans and to increase access for vendor services and supplier contracts for minority businesses. Second, I also created OppsPlace to provide corporate America with a targeted destination to identify and interact with minorities for employment and business opportunities. With over 30 charter member companies who have joined OppsPlace, it clearly demonstrates their commitment to diversity and inclusion," he added.

"As more U.S. companies, large and small, become OppsPlace members, OppsPlace will help reduce unemployment for millions of minority Americans, will provide access to capital to thousands of minority businesses, and will help drive the economic recovery of this country by giving minority Americans a fair shot which they deserve to participate fully in the American Dream," Johnson concluded.

"Unique to OppsPlace is the profile builder which allows companies to focus on their diversity initiatives, mentorship programs, business match-making as well vendor/supplier opportunities," said Friedler," said Ariel Friedler, president of Symplicity Corporation and co-founder of OppsPlace. "OppsPlace is not a destination to simply upload a standard resume, but it is a platform that allows job seekers and minority businesses to network with each other and interact with professionals at hiring companies," he concluded.

"OppsPlace is much more than a jobs board," said Kelli Richardson Lawson, president and COO of OppsPlace. "It is a diverse online network that aggregates rich content and resources in one destination and is dedicated to helping job seekers and minority business owners engage directly with key decision makers in corporate America," she added. "It is the only place on the web that aggregates job seekers and minority businesses in the spirit of helping communities of color enhance their lives and financial well-being," she concluded.

For many years, Johnson has been focused on creating opportunities for minorities and recently announced the RLJ Rule for public and private sector businesses. The RLJ Rule is an adaptation of the National Football League's (NFL) Rooney Rule, which requires the 32 teams, to interview at least one qualified minority candidate whenever a head coaching or general manager position become available. The RLJ Rule is designed to encourage companies to voluntarily establish a "best practices" policy of diversity and inclusion by identifying and interviewing minority candidates or vendors that are often overlooked under traditional hiring or procurement practices.

OppsPlace and the RLJ Rule are two solutions where Johnson believes businesses both large and small can take direct action to increase employment and business opportunities for minority Americans.

To date, more than 30 companies have joined OppsPlace as Charter Members:

Automatic Data Processing, Inc.     
Giant Eagle     
State Farm
State Street
Avery Dennison     
KB Home     
Strayer Education, Inc.
BNY Mellon     
Capital One Financial Corporation     
Colgate-Palmolive Company     
New York Life     
United States Steel Corporation
Education Management Corporation (EDMC)     
Northern Trust     
Penn Mutual     
Vibrant Pittsburgh (VP)           
FedEx Corporation     
PNC Financial     
General Motors     
PPG Industries, Inc.     
YUM! Brands
Prudential Financial, Inc.
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