“…watch me reverse out of debt.” That’s the rest of the line from The Carters (Beyonce’ + Jay-Z) Quavo featured 2018 hit “Apeshit.” Strong title for a party record. But, like hip-hop always does, lines like the “equity” one provide hidden gems for listeners. But, are also clever ways to address larger societal issues.

The difference between equity and equality has been a major focus of American society in recent years. It continues to pop up as we work through the muck of racial and gender reckonings. Put simply, the idea of equality is built around treating everyone the same. While the concept of equity aims to help disadvantaged groups into a better position.

This month, OTRMG was selected as one of five small businesses to take part in the inaugural year of the TD Bank Small Business Champion Program. The program covers a year of Partnership fees with the Chamber and pairs each recipient with a TD Bank mentor. Lastly, it assigns a Chamber Diplomat to help each small business navigate the opportunities available to them through their membership.

OTR Media Group is a small, minority owned, service based business in the creative industry. An industry that gets very little support in the manufacturing, real estate and retail driven South Carolina market. This opportunity that TD Bank and the Columbia Chamber have extended to us is a necessary investment in the small creative businesses sector. We are proud to be a member that represents this emerging industry.

I gotta tell you, I would NOT have chosen to become a member of the Columbia Chamber without this opportunity.

Every small business owner knows that we have to keep an eye on every penny and, expenses have priorities. Additionally, minority owned businesses owners ALSO suffer from lack of access to capital or credit. Many – like me – do not have friends, colleagues or parents that can give $500 dollars let alone $50,000 to fund your business. It is an incredible reality of the disadvantaged that I fight for everyday.

That is why I accepted this opportunity. And I look forward to the responsibility that comes with spreading the gospel of equity to you and everyone I can throughout this first year. As you close out your May, I hope that you can think of ways that you can do the same.

Before I go, check out the WOLO/ABC Columbia Chamber + TD Bank Press conference HERE.