Episode 161: The United Way Offers Black-owned Businesses a Boost

The United Way of Southeast Louisiana has just introduced a new program that aims to be a game-changer for the African-American small business community in Southeast Louisiana. Thriving African-American Small Business Initiative (TAASB) seeks to boost the profit potential and resilience of Black-owned businesses and help close the racial wealth gap in the region. For all the details, Biz talks to Chiquita Lattimore, senior VP of community impact and financial capability.

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Chiquita Lattimore is a force for good. As the senior vice president of community impact financial capability initiatives at United Way of Southeast Louisiana, she has made a tremendous impact on the community.

With a forward-thinking and strategic mindset, Lattimore has achieved great success in program management. Her innovative vision has guided the development of a comprehensive plan to address the needs of low-to-moderate-income individuals and families in the workforce and financial capability services. This has led to the creation of the J. Wayne Leonard and Northshore Prosperity Centers, which provide access to resources, knowledge and skills necessary to build financial capability.

The Prosperity Center’s one-stop model is widely accepted as a best practice in the field and has garnered significant public and private investment. Lattimore’s team continues expanding services in the centers, including introducing the Thriving African-American Small Business (TAASB) initiative, Moving Families Forward program, workforce development partnerships, and SNAP Employment and Training participant training.

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Her passion for helping others shines through in her oversight of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. By managing community sites that provide free tax assistance to those who qualify, she helped return an astounding $13.5 million annually to the community through Earned Income Tax Credits. Additionally, Individual Development Account Project leadership has resulted in an incredible $33 million in community wealth.

Lattimore has worked tirelessly with community partners to identify financial opportunities and build community wealth. Her passion for financial coaching and homeownership counseling is evident through her numerous certifications from the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education’s (AFCPE) Financial Coaching, NeighborWorks Center for Homeownership Education and Counseling Financial Capability, Homeownership Counseling for Program Managers & Executive Directors, Homeownership Counseling-Part I and Part II, and CNM Certified Coach.


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