AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — An initiative that started 18 years ago, National Black Business Month goes through the month of August.

“We actually love being downtown. Downtown is the heart of Augusta and I actually grew up in this city, so I enjoy being a business owner here,” Cafe 209 owner Cassandra Brinson said.

This designation was created in 2004 by John William Templeton and Fredrick E. Jordan Sr., with the aim to recognize black-owned businesses. 

For some, they hope their business and this initiative could be an inspiration to other aspiring entrepreneurs. 

“We want to become more role models for our young people. So, we want them to see that anything is possible,” Brinson said.

Ronic West, President of the Greater Augusta Black Chamber of Commerce says this allows a moment to highlight these businesses for their work throughout Georgia year round.

“There are about 301,000 plus business owners in the state of Georgia. Georgia was noted as the number one place for business in the country.”

West says she hopes that it will also bring light to the struggles black business owners still face today.

“We can begin to advocate, continually, for data. Access to capitals is still a major issue when it comes to white-owned versus black-owned business, even working capital for our business owner business is still a major issue.”

The Greater Augusta Black Chamber of Commerce has been a support to Augusta’s black community since 2017 and will continue to do what they can to uplift business owners and individuals.

“We consider ourselves the voice of black business and we continue to push our objective of one community and one voice,” West said.