The Austin African American Business Network (AAABN) kicked off 2006 with the first business mixer of the year last Friday at Harris Bank-Austin Branch. Allison Porter Bell, branch manager, welcome the Austin business people to the facility.

AAABN Executive Director Malcolm Crawford explained some of the goals and plans for the new year. AAABN is an organization whose main purpose is to help African-American business people become better known and make their businesses more profitable. As a group, the association has been active in the Austin community. Recently Crawford and members met with Ald. Isaac Carothers (29th Ward) regarding a memorial fountain honoring two recently deceased Austin community activists, Ed Bailey and Leola Spann. Crawford said, “We are happy to announce that a memorial fountain will be erected at the corner of Chicago Avenue and Mayfield Street.” More details will be announced at a future date.

Another plan of the group is to choose one business each month to highlight and patronize in order to make the community more aware of its services. AAABN will start with Double Door Dry Cleaners, located at 5925 W. Chicago Ave. This month AAABN is asking everyone in the Austin community to patronize this establishment.

As Crawford put it, “If you’re in the market for boots or western accessories, then we should be shopping at Rennie Smith’s Western Skins & Boots on Madison Street or using Accurate Mortgage. If you need flooring, we should be going to Unique Epoxy Flooring, owned by Mr. Bemis Lester.”

To become a member, contact African American Business Network at 5840 W. Chicago Avenue, 773/626-4506.

?”Delores McCain