MACON, Ga. — August is National Black Business Month, an event that traces back to 2004 with engineering entrepreneur Frederick E. Jordan.
Macon-Bibb County will be celebrating the holiday for the 2nd year after Mayor Lester Miller proclaimed the county would observe it in 2021.
The Office of Small Business Affairs is planning events throughout the month to highlight, inspire, and provide for Black owned businesses.
Macon-Bibb County’s 2nd Black Business Month celebration is aimed at moving Macon forward. They hope to provide support that makes businesses sustainable.
Charise Stephens, Director of Office of Small Business Affairs, says "We believe that you are important to the vitality and economic wellbeing of our community."
Benjamin Reid and Raashad Lucaz are Macon men preparing to open their Black-owned business, called Greenwood Bottom Auto Detailing.
Reid was honored by the county’s recognition of the month, in the wake of his business opening on Saturday, August 4th.
Alex Habersham, publisher of the Macon Black Pages, adds that supporting black businesses is an advantage for all.
“Black consumerism is huge. $3.5 Billion a year is spent in Central Georgia, so, if in fact we could get some of that money directed to African American businesses then that will have a rippling effect in improving our community economically, educationally, civically and in other areas,” Habersham says.
The Macon Bibb Office of Small Business Affairs says that year 2 will be even bigger. It'll be a time to learn history, network, and to grow.
“Our goal is to increase the number of small businesses having contracts with Macon Bibb County, so they will get information on their vendor applications and were going to be there for them and the cost is free,” Stephens says.
They will also offer provide activities for everyone to get involved.
“We're even going to have a Black owned business bingo, so you'll get your card here and you’ll be able to support these businesses. Some of you may have never heard of them, but guess what you’re gonna have fun and were gonna have some really wonderful prizes,” she adds.
Stephens got emotional during her interview as she touched on how inspired she’s been watching black businesses overcome obstacles.
She says starting a business is not for the faint of heart, but encourages people to stay the course and take advantage of the month's resources.
“I started a small business so I could take care of my kids, so I know the power of being the steward of your own fate. So I think this is a perfect time of healing, working together, because if you’re doing better, collectively were doing better as a community,”
If you want to know more about the events taking place you can stop by the Macon-Bibb County Government Center.
You can also support Greenwood Bottom Auto Detailing at their grand opening Saturday from 7 a.m. - 8. P.M. at the Greenwood Bottom Plaza.
Want to get connected with other black businesses in the area or promote your black business? Go to Macon Black Pages for a free listing in the publication.
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