ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Albany Black Chamber of Commerce & Social Club (ABCC) has officially cut the ribbon on its new home at 141 Washington Avenue in Albany. An open house of the space followed the ribbon cutting.

The event was held on February 1, marking the beginning of Black History Month. Established in 2022, ABCC focuses on the development, promotion, and growth of the Capital Region’s Black and minority owned businesses.

The building at 141 Washington Avenue is the former home of the University Club. The building offers ABCC a greater office space, common spaces to gather, and a bowling alley in the basement.

“We purchased the University Club to help elevate Black and Minority-Owned businesses in Downtown Albany,” said Ed Mitzen, co-Founder of Business for Good. “A chamber of commerce is an integral part of the economic development of a community, and we are so proud that The Albany Black Chamber will have a permanent home here.”

“The opening of the Albany Black Chamber is a momentous occasion for our Black and minority business community and the entire City of Albany,” said Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan. “This new space in the former University Club will be utilized for business engagement, mentorship, and leadership development in an effort to enhance the vibrancy of our neighborhoods and expand business opportunities for our residents and prospective residents.”

Before the ribbon cutting, ABCC held a Grand Opening Black Tie event on Martin Luther King,
Jr. Day. “Here we are, so many years later, on MLK Day, in a room that was historically for White males only, setting a monumental precedence of what a Black Chamber of Commerce has to offer,” said ABCC CEO Deshanna Wiggins during the January 16 event. “Many of our vendors tonight, at least 80% of them, are Black owned, and this is just the tip of the iceberg of what’s coming from Albany Black Chamber of Commerce & Social Club.”