Target Market News, Inc. is launching “Black Business Chicago,” a monthly publication devoted exclusively to covering news and information impacting the city’s African-American businesses, entrepreneurs and executives. The first issue will appear in January 2010 and will be available as a supplement in the Chicago Defender newspaper and at locations throughout Chicago.

In addition to being available as a print publication, the companion Web site, will provide regular news updates, access to online business resources and a means for readers to get answers to business-related questions. The site will also debut in January.

“Black Business Chicago” also plans to hold conferences and publish reports, both of which will be focused on black business developments and opportunities in Chicago.

The monthly tabloid publication and Web site will be written and edited by Target Market News. Editorial contributions will come from  some of the most respected business journalists at Chicago newspapers and magazines. The editorial focus will consist of breaking news, features and how-to stories. The launch circulation of the monthly publication will be 25,000.

“A publication to serve Chicago’s black business community is long overdue” said Ken Smikle, president of Target Market News and publisher of Black Business Chicago. “This city has been considered the historic capital of black entrepreneurship for decades, and it continues to be home to many of the nation’s largest black-owned enterprises, such as Harpo Inc., Johnson Publishing Co., Ariel Investments and Luster Products Co.

“Chicago represents one of the largest concentrations of black-owned businesses in the country, but there is no singular media vehicle that brings together news, information, research and commentary about this dynamic community,” said Smikle. “Having a media platform that concentrates on black-owned businesses will provide a critical voice for these companies. The larger business community will become more aware of their products, services and expertise, and be encouraged to form business relationships with them. ”

According to the most recent business census taken by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Cook County had more than 55,000 black-owned firms, more than any other county in the country, and accounted for 80 percent of all black-owned companies in Illinois.

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