PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — This month, state and local leaders are encouraging people to support their community and shop at Black-owned businesses for “Black Business Month.”
“People that come to our store, they’re buying into the community and that’s very good for Peoria,” said JoAnn and Gregory Young, the owners of Young’s Popcorn Heaven.
The Young’s said shopping at their store helps keep them open and sets an example for others in the community.
“It’s an eye-opener for young Black entrepreneurs that are thinking about doing a business,” said Gregory.
The owner said their store shows future business owners what’s possible.
“Well, not too often do you see, especially here in Peoria, Black-owned businesses. I think it gives the younger generation something to aim at as far as knowing that they have potential, [and] that they can do anything that they want to do,” said Gregory.
Denise Moore, CEO of the Minority Business Development Center said recognizing stores owners is crucial.
“[The] African American community contributes quite a bit to the economic prosperity … for the state of Illinois,” said Moore.
Moore encourages people to shop local now and always.
“Seek out those small businesses that you may have overlooked. It’s so easy to drive by a little small shop versus a big megastore,” said Moore.
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is hosting events throughout the month. Anyone can attend and find more information online.