Augusta, GA (WJBF)- Many small businesses are suffering because of the pandemic. One local man came up with an idea to help his community out.
Javierus Gartrell is the organizer of the Black Dollar Expo and said that he saw a need to highlight local black business owners-so he decided to do something about it.
“The whole objective of the event is to circulate the importance of black entrepreneurship and building wealth in the black community.”
Gartrell said that the pandemic has hit everyone hard. He also said that because of the Black Lives Matter Movement, people are looking to support black owned businesses, but they don’t know where to look.
“The main thing that’s important, we have to educate our people that these businesses are out here. A lot of them don’t know that you have people in your neighborhood around you that actually have businesses,” Gartrell said.
Gartrell said he believes that more education on finance in the black community will encourage people to start their own business.
“We don’t have a lot of events that educate people on that. We have to start hosting more events like expos and seminars and just stuff to have people on the same accord,” said Gartrell.
Tonya Partlow, a realtor in Augusta and one of the expo’s vendors, agrees.
“Well, anything to help the black community build wealth, educate our people, on businesses and just being an entrepreneur. Anything that will help our family and our community is always needed,” she said.
She said that vendor events like the Black Dollar expo can be crucial to small business owners like herself.
“Any support that I can get as a realtor is very needed. There’s a lot of black realtors out there. There’s a lot of realtors in general. But we want business and we need support, just like anyone else,” said Partlow.
Gartrell said that just because the expo showcases local black business owners, doesn’t mean that everyone isn’t welcome to attend.
“This event is not to take away from any business. We’re in support of white businesses. What we want to do is for other people to support us also. It’s not to take away from anybody. I support every business,” explained Gartrell.
The expo will be held on September 26th from 3-6 PM at the Maserati’s Center in downtown Augusta. For more information CLICK HERE for the Black Dollar Expo Facebook Event.