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20 entrepreneurs graduate from NewTown Macon, Macon-Middle Georgia Black Pages Downtown Diversity Initiative

Five business owners also received $5,000 to help start or expand their current businesses

MACON, Ga. — Five new business in Macon are on the rise!

NewTown Macon and the Macon-Middle Georgia Black Pages announced the winners of its Downtown Diversity Initiative at Barefoot Tavern Wednesday.

The initiative is a 10-week business training and recruitment program designed to attract more African-American business owners and customers to the urban core.

Five graduates with the highest scores after pitching their concept to a panel of judges were awarded $5,000 to help start or expand their current businesses.

  • Felicia Kim, Latricia Gittens, and Chris Gittens, The Wonder Twinz, LLC: a fitness instruction company that inspires mental and physical awareness;
  • Erika Morgan and Trent Morgan, Macon Homes & Construction, LLC: a construction company that offers a wide range of services from painting and pressure washing to finished carpentry and floor installation;
  • Patrice Bass, Just Juicy, LLC: a juicing company that creates cold pressed juices, herbal teas, and herbal supplements;
  • Tiffany Minter, InstaMajic Photobooth, LLC: an event company that specializes in providing a 360-degree photobooth experience;
  • Sherrod Motely and Swati Motely, Motely's Community Store, LLC: a local community store that sells Georgia grown produce and hot meals.

Tiffany Minter, the owner of InstaMajic Photobooth, says the initiative has helped her in many ways.

"During this experience, I gained a deeper understanding of my business finances," said Minter. "I also have new friendships and potential partnerships, and then I also have a group of professionals that support my business."

Only 18% of downtown Macon businesses are Black-owned, while the population of Macon-Bibb County is 54% African-American.

RELATED: Downtown Macon Christmas parade returns in 2021

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