By Nicole Fracasso, OSCPA communications intern
Both A’Shira Nelson, CPA, and Sunny Adams, CPA, are passionate about helping the Black business community, and with recent events around George Floyds death earlier this year, the two wanted to make sure their firm was taking action.
To support the growth of Black owned businesses, they started working on a new program called “IMPACT” by focusing on business development and helping to eliminate some of the barriers they experience.
“IMPACTs mission is to assist and create a systemic economic change in the Black business community in northeast Ohio using Apple Growth Partners skillset and accounting advisory and tax planning services,” said Adams, audit and assurance manager at Apple Growth Partners.
In doing so, Adams said they will focus on two key areas being increasing access to capital as well as business advisory.
One aspect of IMPACT both Adams and Nelson, tax manager, are both looking forward to is building relationships with their clients.
“One of the things we look forward to is relationship building and bridging the gap and creating some type of bridge between Black businesses and their access to capital,” Nelson said. “A lot of businesses fail within the first couple years because the lack of funding and the ability to properly execute their idea to even grow.”
In addition, Adams and Nelson said launching IMPACT has been a rewarding experience.
“The most rewarding part has been our ability to use our firm’s skills to really make an impact in the Black business community,” Nelson said. “Black businesses have been struggling for years so we’re finally dedicating some of our skills that we have developed over the years in order to have a direct impact.”
Another rewarding aspect for Adams has been connecting her passion for helping the Black business community to her job.
“For me the most rewarding part has been this connection to the job that I do, but now I have this exciting piece where I get to help the community and it is a part of the job,” Adams said. “So, it has made my work in the accounting field so much more rewarding as well as exciting.”
In addition, Nelson also said IMPACT has allowed her to live out her passions through her work as a CPA.
“You can truly make this profession what you want it to be. You set the definition, you set the tone for your career,” she said. “And that’s one of the things I absolutely love about being a CPA.”
For learning on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, check out OSCPA’s Crossing Bridges Series.