Black and minority-owned businesses nationwide are finally get the support they deserve.
The latest region to join in the efforts to bolster Black and brown businesses is Stonecrest, GA, which just announced the development of a new shopping, dining and entertainment center called New Black Wall Street Marketplace, AJC reports.
This new development has aims to feature over 100 businesses with a focus on minority owners, and looks to imitate itself after the business model that made Ponce City Market and Krog Street Market such a success.
The finished product of the property will also include restaurants, grocery stores, art galleries, music venues and theatrical stages in an effort to provide more opportunities for Black, minority, and women-owned businesses.
According to the AJC, the city’s past attempts to make Dekalb County a hotbed for minority-owned businesses hasn’t proved to be very successful, but they’re hopeful for their latest ambitious project.
“This is something that’s been needed for a long time,” Clarence Boone, Stonecrest’s economic development director, said to the outlet. “We feel like this will be a gamechanger for the city as it relates to commerce for Stonecrest.”
With the pressures of the past on the city, Stonecrest is relying on philanthropist and businessman Lecester “Bill” Allen to help restore confidence with business owners in the area based on his successful ventures in south DeKalb.
“Projects don’t fail. People fail,” DeKalb Commissioner Lorraine Cochran-Johnson told AJC. “So I trust that the proper people are in place in order to ensure the success of this project.”
In a recent promotional video for the new development, Allen spoke on the reasoning behind his mission, emphasizing the project’s overall goal lies in supporting Black and women business owners.
“I am interested in all people, but I’m especially interested in Black folk. I just think that this country being built on the backs of slavery — we don’t own enough of this country which we have built.”
According to Cochran-Johnson, she believes the new market is just right for a community like Stonecrest.
“It will give a platform to businesses that otherwise would not have had the opportunity to grow and thrive, especially in the Stonecrest community because there is such a lack of presence of retail businesses within the community,” she said to AJC.
New Black Wall Street Market is reportedly slated for a soft opening on May 31 – which falls on the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre.
The planned opening date is meant to honor Tulsa’s legacy and show how prosperous modern-day Black businesses can mirror the original Black Wall Street.