Spokane's first ever Black Business Expo is happening this weekend. At least 20 local businesses will gather Sunday, Feb. 25, from 2-5 pm, at the Emmanuel Family Life Center for the inaugural event.
The editor and publisher of the Black Lens, Sandy Williams, left, speaks with Charlotte Lewis and her daughter at a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day rally.
Businesses signed up so far range from restaurants, barbershops and beauty supply stores to birth and labor services, a bridal boutique, an urban farming
biz and more. Sandy Williams, publisher and editor of Spokane's African-American newspaper the Black Lens,
and a sponsor of the event, hopes that number will climb past 30 by Sunday.
"I bet most people don't know how many black-owned businesses there are in Spokane," Williams says in a prepared statement. "This year, for Black History Month, we want to change that. Our goal is to identify and celebrate at least 30 black-owned businesses, so that we can give them the support they need."
The event is free for attendees and businesses, according to a news release, though business owners are asked to preregister online at blacklensnews.com
. Mini workshops during the expo will touch on generating wealth through real estate, give cosmetology tips and answer the question: What is a doula
The event is co-sponsored by the Friends of the Black Lens, the Spokane Ministers' Fellowship, the Spokane NAACP and Spokane's African American, Hispanic, Asian and Native American (AHANA) Business and Professional Association.
"The Black Business Expo is very important because it increases awareness and exposure for black businesses in the Spokane market, particularly in the black and multiethnic population," Ben Cabildo, the founder of the AHANA Business and Professional Association, says in prepared statement. "The success of black businesses is crucial to the economic betterment of Spokane's black community, but also to the enrichment of the Spokane community in general."
Find the registration form here