Members of the Crenshaw Chamber Board of Directors pose with Assemblymember Isaac Bryan, Councilmember Heather Hutt, and former Councilmember Jan Perry. (Karim Saafir)

The Crenshaw business community is alive and well as evidenced by the excited crowd that gathered for the 90th anniversary installation ceremony of the Crenshaw Chamber of Commerce officers on April 16.

With The Metaphor Club serving as the venue, the new members of the board of directors were first given the oath of office by former Councilmember Jan Perry followed by encouraging words of support from Councilmember Heather Hutt (CD 10).

More than 60 people came out for the program including Assemblymember Isaac Bryan, Council Pro Tem Curren D. Price Jr., Metro Commissioner Jacquelyn Dupont-Walker, and Angela Gibson Shaw, president of the Greater Los Angeles African American Chamber of Commerce.

The program also featured refreshments by Taco Mell Catering, a popular eatery in the Crenshaw/Leimert Park corridor and photography by Karim Saafir.  In addition, attendees enjoyed a champaign or sparkling cider toast in recognition of the decade-long tenure of Armen Ross, the chamber’s outgoing president/CEO.

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JC Lacey, the new president/CEO, commended Ross’ successful efforts of increasing the programs and projects of the chamber and enhancing the wealth of resources that the organization offered to members during the COVID 19 pandemic.  Lacey said the board aims to continues sponsoring events to help businesses grow and thrive.

From left are Council Pro Tem Curren Price, JC Lacey, Del Richardson Price, Armen Ross and Gary Kynard. (Karim Saafir)

“We will be doing events every month – networking mixers, quarterly trainings and general meetings.  We want to stay active to make sure that people know that we’re here and we’re going strong again,” Lacey said.

One of the training sessions will focus on improving the online presence of member companies. Lacey noted that many African American-owned and Latino-owned businesses were negatively impacted by the COVID shutdown, and the chamber wants to help revive and sustain those firms with a variety of online tools.

“We will help make sure that your website is mobile phone friendly, and your business is ADA compliant.  Also, we’ll help you with reputation management like with Yelp reviews,” he said.

The Metaphor Club provided a spacious area for a comfortable program. (Karim Saafir)

“The final piece is to be a voice, both to and from the community.  We want to use our relationships with government agencies and other entities be an advocate or liaison to outreach on behalf of Crenshaw businesses,” added Lacey, who invited people to join the organization.

The boundaries of the Crenshaw Chamber of Commerce consist of Washington Boulevard on the north, Western Avenue on the east, La Cienega Boulevard on the west and Florence Avenue on the south.

The event co-sponsors included SoCalGas, National Association of Minority Contractors, PCR Business Finance, Bridge Street, Transportation Foundation, Ignited Light and Sanctuary of Hope.

To learn more, visit or call (323) 293-2900.