Recently, Peoria was rated 5th worst city for African Americans by the 2247wallst.com site. However, there are community members doing their part to make the River City, a better place for the Black community.
Tony Scroggins, a real estate investor, had left Peoria for 30 years but recently came back. As he was looking for black- owned businesses, he realized he needed to list them in one place. That’s when he created the Peoria Black Business Directory.
“Local owned businesses are leaving because we don’t get the business because they’re on that Ebay and those things. You need to support your local businesses that keeps jobs in the community, it keeps places where you can come last minute and get what you need,” said Janet Cornish-Davis, owner of Janet’s Just For You Boutique.
That’s exactly what Scroggins had in mind for his directory, which got published just a week ago. This project took 4 months to get done.
“I was looking for Black contractors and black businesses and I couldn’t find any without going on Facebook looking for them … so I decided to start the book so I could find Black businesses,” said Scroggins.
Janet’s Just For You Boutique is 1 of 30 businesses featured in the directory. It has been in Peoria for 29 years now, selling men and women’s designer clothing and accessories. Owners said this directory will help bring new customers.
“Businesses, you all need to get in it. We all need to be in it as a community. This is what Peoria needs because there’s a few in here that I didn’t even know existed because we don’t do a lot of advertising,” said Cornish-Davis.
Scroggins’s other goal for this directory is to keep pushing the Black community further into entrepreneurship.
“When black people not only survive but thrive, it’s better for the community. It brings down crime. Some of those factors why there’s crime is because there’s no opportunities. So with these opportunities, it helps the community grow,” said Scroggins.
Since this directory has sparked interest from other small business owners, Scroggins and his team will be publishing an updated version with more content in about three months.
For more information you can contact Tony Scroggins at 206-578-7710 or visit www.bbdPeoria.com .