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Gem City Black Business Month encouraging the future of Black-owned businesses

DAYTON — The first Gem City Black Business Month is this August. The business month is highlighting the importance of transforming the future of local Black-owned businesses in the community.

Karlos Marshall, manager of the Greater West Dayton Incubator, is one of the key organizers of the business month.

“Representation of black entrepreneurs is not where it needs to be locally or nationally,” Marshall told News Center 7′s Michael Gordon.

Business.org reported last month that out of Ohio’s 96,000 small businesses, only 7 percent were minority-owned.

The month is comprised of over a dozen networking and social events.

“It was critical to establish the first Gem City Black Business Month to engage and educate and equip Black entrepreneurs and business owners with the resources and exposure they need the most,” Marshall said.

Local Black business owners like Juanita Michelle Darden hope this becomes an annual event to educate others looking to start a business.

>>Making a Difference

“I myself relied on the small business development center. I utilized the services of the Dayton Chamber of Commerce and Better Business Bureau. I utilized those resources,” Darden, owner of Third Perk Coffeehouse and Wine Bar, said.

There will be a business hop held this Saturday where people can tour their way through the downtown area and experience local Black-owned businesses. The hop starts at Darden’s Third Perk Coffeehouse and Wine Bar. It will run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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