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Black Business Expo provides networking and new opportunities in Charlottesville

Published: Oct. 16, 2021 at 11:23 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Dozens of black owned businesses gathered at IX Art Park Saturday afternoon. While all of them bring different goods to the table, they all have one common goal.

The ‘Black Business Expo’ is an opportunity for equity, according to the director. It’s a space for businesses to showcase their work, while also supporting others.

“Quite often you may hear someone say I never knew that business existed, and hearing that over and over and over again,” Director of the Black Business Expo Ty Cooper said.

That is exactly what the Black Business Expo is trying to fix.

“There’s more black owned businesses in Charlottesville that people realize,” President of the Tax Ladies Libby Edwards-Allbaugh said. “This is an opportunity to showcase the different businesses that we have and the different things that they do.”

Black owned businesses from all around Charlottesville gather for this event. Even on a rainy afternoon, people come out for the opportunity.

“It’s great it’s a lot of a lot of support, a lot of love showing, and I love that though,” Owner of Vegan Comfort Soul Food Casandra Rodriguez said.

This was Casandra’s first time at the Expo, and it’s her her first year owning her Vegan Comfort Soul food spot. She says she came to the expo to help grow her business, but it’s not just about exposure.

“It’s a networking too, and it’s for me it’s for me to be able to expand my network of businesses that I can refer my clients to and for goods and services as well,” Edwards-Allbaugh said.

This was the fifth year of the expo, and you can expect many more to come.

“The city made the list of like one of the best places to live, right, so we had to, we had to make sure that that’s true, that’s accurate,” Cooper said. “It’s not accurate if we don’t have everyone having equity.”

The expo will be back around this same time next year.

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