City official, business owner voice importance of supporting Black businesses

August is recognized as Black Business Month.
Published: Aug. 15, 2022 at 11:24 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - “When you are investing in a black business, that black business is investing in the community,” says Toyia Tucker, Columbus City Councilwoman.

Earlier this month, the River Valley Black Chamber of Commerce received a proclamation in recognition of Black Business and Black Philanthropy Month.

Tucker says the River Valley Black Chamber of Commerce was established to support black businesses and to provide resources to help manage those businesses and keep them afloat.

“Black Business Month was created in 2004. It’s really to bring more awareness and get individuals to support Black-owned businesses.”

According to Tucker, awareness of these businesses is a step towards addressing the racial wealth gap.

“A lot of us we’re good at our craft, we’re good at what we do, but then we’re lacking the knowledge sometimes in trying to go out and seek financial loans and grants to operate as a business,” says Tony Taylor. Taylor is the general manager at Taylor Funeral Home in Phenix City.

Taylor says the key to being a successful business is to prioritize building relationships.

“People can see the passion you have for your business. They’ll be more apt to come out and do business with you. So we as business owners have to market ourselves and go out to the community. Business is about relationships.

Despite struggles, area business owners say they’re happy to get positive recognition during August. One, in particular, is the owner of Chester’s Barbecue in Columbus, Trenton Chester.

“I think it’s very important we have support of the community, being a black owned business is often a lot of challenges in itself, just to have the support of the community really helps,” says Chester.

Everyone is encouraged to take the time to show their support this month by visiting local black-owned businesses.

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