By Verbal Adam | OBSERVER Correspondent
Small business owners, entrepreneurs and business developers gathered July 29 at the African Marketplace in Florin Square for the third annual Small Business Success Summit. The event drew a large crowd, including many would-be business owners.
Without support, many minority-owned businesses fail within their first year. Without strong relationships with lending institutions, many businesses can’t secure adequate loans. The Downtown Business Partnership estimates that 10% of businesses in Sacramento County have permanently closed in the last two years.
Despite such adversity, many Sacramento Black small business owners have shown resilience and resolve. Black small business owners were front and center at the third annual summit, held by the Florin Square Community Development Corporation, the MetroBusiness Center, the Sacramento Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Sacramento Black Chamber of Commerce. More than 30 Black small business owners came together with the goal of empowering the community, offering workshops on banking and finance, government contracting, and how to apply for grants. They were joined by Starbucks, SMUD, UC Davis Health, 97.5 FM, F&M Bank, Donaldson Properties, Keller Williams, Florin Road Partnership, Century Engineering and The Sacramento OBSERVER.
The event also presented the Dana Maeshia award of $500 to a Glam Gurlz Boutique. Glam Gurlz, which is located inside Florin Square, sells clothes for “fashion forward” women. Maeshia, who died of COVID-19 in 2021, was a staple of community empowerment in South Sacramento.
This year’s summit featured seminars and courses led by business professionals and organizations. Many of the conversations were about networking, ChatGPT, and starting a nonprofit. Several local businesses were honored during an awards ceremony.