Access to capital has historically been a barrier for Black entrepreneurs, but new programs and organizations are creating more opportunities for Black businesses.
MACON, Ga. (41NBC/WMGT) – August is National Black Business Month, and there are now more resources than ever for Black entrepreneurs to thrive in Middle Georgia.
For more than 30 years, the Black pages of Mâcon served as a directory to promote black-owned businesses in Middle Georgia.
According to Alex Habersham, publisher of Black Pages, one of the biggest challenges for black entrepreneurs is access to capital. He says African American consumers spend more than $3.5 billion a year – money that could be reinvested in black-owned businesses.
“So the goal of the Black Pages is to circulate more of that revenue, more cash, more disposable income into the African American community, which will benefit the entire community,” Habersham said.
Habersham explained that the more successful a business is, the more it can contribute to employment, education and awareness.
Kaviar Beauty Bar is a Black-owned business in downtown Macon. Her co-owner, Leigha Axom, says when the salon opened in 2020, she wasn’t aware of the resources she had available.
“As a Black entrepreneur, as a Black business owner, you have to show up wherever you can,” she said. “Type.” Learn about the different things happening in the community. »
Since connecting with Macon’s business community, Axom says the resources she’s found have helped her business thrive.
Organizations and non-profits like Chamber of Commerce of Greater Mâcon, New Town of Mâcon, Spark Macon And Startup Mâcon, THE Small Business Development Center and the Central Georgia Black Business Coalition offer a support network that impacts all businesses in Mâcon.
“Now since we have outdone ourselves and made more noise in the community, people know more about Kaviar Beauty Bar, so we have more customers from all over,” Axom said.
Axom says she was able to attend leadership and business networking seminars as well as entrepreneurial training through programs for minority-owned businesses.
Habersham says his vision for the future is for businesses to be more reflective of the communities they serve.
“I guarantee you that black businesses could reach 5 or 10% of all the businesses that are in Macon, so I would like to see that number increase, and I would like to see it increase, and I would like to see that translate into l improvement of the whole community,” he said.
A Black Business and Community Expo takes place on August 19 at the Colisée in Mâcon. It will feature vendors, live entertainment and back-to-school resources as well as education and networking for small businesses.