Upcoming showcase hopes to support small, minority-owned businesses

Published: Dec. 1, 2022 at 11:18 PM EST
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) - David Thomas is the CEO and Co-owner of the Health Hut located off Fairfield Avenue by Packard Park. It’s a shop he says specializes in health and wellness.

Thomas is one of 25 business owners who will be a part of this weekend’s minority business showcase hosted by members of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.

He says the showcase helps him show off his business.

“It gives us an opportunity to expose our business to the community, give them awareness that we exist,” Thomas said. “We’re still marketing our business. A lot of people know we’re here, but a lot of people don’t know we exist.”

Thomas says this event is important to his business and its bottom line because of the challenges they faced over the past few years, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Health Hut was opened up 2019 November, they closed the door 2020 that Spring, so the pandemic was not in our business plan,” Thomas said.

On top of the pandemic, there are other challenges small minority-owned business owners tend to face.

Recent data from Brookings Institution shows even though 13% of the United States population is black, only 4.3% of the more than 22 million business owners in America are black.

It’s a trend folks in charge of this event say they hope to change.

“Being able to continue to give them exposure and access, where advertising dollars or staffing may be limited, if we could have events that give them an opportunity to showcase their services, this is helping and giving back to the community,” Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. member Sharon Davis said.

Thomas says the challenges he faces as a business owner have been difficult but says he’s optimistic this weekend’s showcase will lead to more opportunities for his shop.

“We hope to feed off the other entrepreneurs as well and maybe collaborate and join partnerships with those business owners, so we hope to build partnerships as well as grow our customer base,” Thomas said.

The minority business showcase will take place from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Impact Center on Paulding Road in Fort Wayne. Folks in charge of the event encourage everyone to come out and support the businesses involved.