On Thursday, Aug. 19, ACC (Arab American Chaldean Council) will add another brick to its 30-year mission of building bridges that lead to roads that pave the way for a myriad of human services and needed resources for various communities within the tri-county area.

“As a bridge of understanding, we continue on a mission of maximizing the skills, resources and expertise of the communities we serve, which is why (for the second year) we are excited about our partnership with Fifth Third Bank and its eBus initiative,” said Dr. Haifa Fakhouri, ACC president and CEO.

This year’s event has a duel purpose, reaching out to both the consumer and the small business community.

“For the first time, a Small Business Expo will be included when the eBus stops at ACC’s Seven Mile Campus,” said Loretta Humphrey-Cruz, Fifth Third Bank Community Development marketing specialist. “The purpose of the Expo is to not only educate businesses on various financial resources that are available to them, but to also have open dialogue relative to their issues and concerns that will be addressed by a panel of financial experts.”

On the business end, a panel of individuals from SBA, CEED, City of Detroit Office of Targeted Business Development, Michigan Small Business and Technical Development Center, along with Optimum Capital Management President Ryan Mack (headquartered in New York) and Edward Deeb, Michigan Food and Beverage Association (MFBA) president and chief executive officer, will address local small business owners. The morning will kick off with “A Taste of ACC” continental breakfast followed by the Expo that will conclude with questions from the business owners and answers from the panel moderated by Acqunette Jamison, anchor on Fox 2 Morning News.

“It’s a great day at ACC whenever we can open our doors not only to the community but also to businesses that fuel our economy, and we look forward to this first-time opportunity to host the Expo and to welcome the eBus back to our Seven Mile Campus,” said William Salaita, ACC Employment and Training director. On Tuesday, Aug. 17, the panel of business experts will join Salaita on his weekly radio show which is broadcast on WNZK AM 690 at 3 p.m.

Come rain or shine, ACC clients will board the eBus where they will be provided with community resources information (from DTE, to Michigan Department of Human Services, to a list of low-income housing, to how to prevent identity theft), along with receiving pertinent information from Fifth Third regarding banking and have the opportunity to obtain their credit report. After visiting the eBus, residents can visit the Detroit Community Health Connection which will be weproviding free health screenings. ACC clients will also have the option of participating in two workshops designed to attract those who have little to no banking knowledge or experience (“Banking Basics 101”) and those who have entrepreneurship interest (“Taking a Business From Your Basement to the Consumer”) but lack the wherewithal to complete the transition.

ACC continues to serve the community by “Building Hope, Building Lives” and is committed to staying with the mission of expanding its work with community-conscious organizations throughout Southeastern Michigan. As Dr. Haifa Fakhouri put it, “Through the strength of partnership we can help more individuals better their lives.”

Businesses interested in attending this free Small Business Expo can RSVP by calling (248) 559-1990 no later than Aug. 16.

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