YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Mahoning and Shenango valleys are booming with diverse businesses and the Business Journal is committed to serving and lifting the entrepreneurs behind them.
As we enter National Black Business Month, we recognize the importance of supporting Black businessmen and women. We launched the Minority Business Directory both to help local minority-business owners promote their companies and to provide a useful guide for customers looking for businesses to support.
Businesses across all sectors in Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties, as well as Lawrence and Mercer counties in Pennsylvania, can be found in the directory. Go to BusinessJournalDaily.com/minority-business-directory. A link on this page goes to a form that enables minority entrepreneurs to submit information for the directory.
Rebecca Hampton, marketing assistant, compiled the directory by using information from other local Black business directories: The Youngstown Black Business Directory and Star 94.7’s Black Business Connect.
To ensure we had the proper contact information, she contacted each business owner and crosschecked his information through social media platforms, email and phone. We included the names of the owners if the information was available to spotlight the entrepreneurs at the helm of each operation. We made sure to include only businesses that are still in operation.
The directory is an example of the Black-owned businesses locally available in nearly every industry from food and beverage to financial and professional services. Over 120 businesses are in the directory and more are being added as submissions are sent in. We will regularly update the directory to support current and future entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneurship is a crucial way to develop community wealth, for both business owners and their employees.
Thriving Black-owned businesses could be a vital component for closing the racial wealth gap in the United States, according to the McKinsey Institute for Black Economic Mobility.
But the pandemic exacerbated existing systemic challenges Black business owners face, including a lack of access to capital. This disproportionate impact has the potential to derail the significant growth of Black entrepreneurship over the last several years, according to Forbes. These challenges make community support of these businesses even more urgent.
By supporting Black-owned businesses, we grow closer to a united, thriving business community. Our local communities cannot prosper without an abundance of healthy, diverse businesses.
We welcome our readers to use our directory and join us in supporting these businesses and their communities.