Putting actions to words, supporting Black-owned businesses

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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Putting action behind words of promise; Central Illinoisans who are looking to find a way to support the black community can do so in numerous ways, but one is by supporting black-owned businesses.

Conversations surrounding the death of George Floyd have sparked a global discussion aimed at challenging all people to support the black community in any way you can.

“This is the next evolution of America’s growth as a country is to make sure that we embrace business, especially black business owners,” said CEO, President of the Illinois Black Chamber of Commerce, Larry Ivory. “Give them a chance because if you strengthen black businesses, we strengthen black communities. You strengthen black people and you strengthen America at the same time and I don’t know what could make more sense than that.”

Peoria’s Black Business Directory houses diverse places where you can spend money.
It’s also a place where you can engage in conversations to educate yourself about the black community.

“Go and do business with them,” said Ivory. “Be intentional about going and letting [businesses] know that ‘we appreicate that you’re here’ and you know, that ‘we want to buy your products and services'”

One of the over 30 business owners highlighted from the directory said support is encouraged in his storefront.

“What would you want?,” asked owner of Young’s Popcorn Heaven, Gregory Young. “Would you want your people to support you? And if so, that’s the way black owners or minority owners feel also. Support us. We’re here for you.”

Young’s Popcorn Heaven has been backed by the community for four years. The owner said they’ll be out and about selling popcorn with restrictions lifting from COVID-19.

The Lake Ave store is back to regular operating hours.

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