Black entrepreneurs from across fields came together Saturday to empower one another and to encourage the next generation of business owners.
“Today’s basically about appreciation, showing appreciation towards Black business owners and the Black community, to let them know that we’re behind them and we’re pushing them,” said Darris McDowell, owner of The Squeeze Juice Bar.
Darris McDowell says, with a Black population of less than 10 percent, Black people and Black businesses are few. That’s why he and co-creator Jeff Smith held their first-ever Black Business Appreciation Day.
In addition to opportunities to build community with other Black business owners, Cortland Mayor Brian Tobin handed out certificates of appreciation—recognizing the work the businesses have already done in the community.
McDowell says the goal of the event was not only to give Black businesses a platform and community, but also to create entrepreneurs and business owners of tomorrow.
“Any information I get to better someone else that’s trying to do better, I'm not holding it, pass it on,” said McDowell
Building community today, while sowing seeds for a more diverse tomorrow.
All the proceeds from the event will go toward the Juice Bar's annual backpack giveaway.
Some of the Black businesses in attendance included:
- Art Temple
- Cortland Voice
- Fun Flicks
- Jaxs Service Center
- MTS Taxi
- SlickTalker Photography
- Tag Me 607- Laser Tag and Gaming
- The Squeeze Juice Bar
- Ty's Cuisine