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Downtown Macon 'Buy Black' event to show support to minority-owned businesses

'Buy Black Downtown Macon Tour' is an event that highlights Black-owned business and helps bring awareness to local business owners.

MACON, Ga. — The "Buy Black Downtown Macon Tour" event is back after starting in 2020 at the beginning of the pandemic. The creator of the event wants more people to know about the many Black-owned businesses in Macon because he says whenever people come to his store, they never know it's Black-owned.

The event was created to not only highlight businesses, but also help foster individuals that wish to start their own business. 

Mercer African Studies Professor Chester Fontenot explains why buying from Black-owned businesses is important.

"It's very difficult for many Black businesses because banks don't want to loan money to African Americans, so in order to get past that, Black people have to work more cooperatively to literally create their own funding mechanism," says Fontenot.

Carl Fambro, the owner of Francar's, says he has faced difficulties with finding funding for his business

"It was difficult. I got turned down by two banks. One bank never even looked at my application. At the time, Bank South was a small community bank. I told them I was desperate and they gave me a loan that same day -- $25,000," says Fambro.

Black- and Latino-owned businesses were less than half as likely as white-owned firms to be fully-approved for loan applications over the past year. That's according to the federal reserve.

That's why events similar to the Buy Black Downtown Macon Tour are helpful because they assist minorities with managing and starting their own companies.

The creator of the event says he plans to make the event happen more than just once a year because of all the people it benefits and how successful it has been since it began in 2020.

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