FLINT, MI–This weekend, black business owners from Genesee County gathered in downtown Flint to support each other and showcase their work to the area.
The fourth annual Genesee County Black Business Expo attracted an estimated 600 to 700 people to Riverfront Banquet Center on Saturday morning and afternoon.
Quintin Marshall, pastor and founder of New Life Tabernacle Ministries in Flint, started the event as an annual Black History Month event to connect area entrepreneurs and showcase them to Flint to help them get more business.
He said Saturday’s expo had 63 vendors–a combination of restaurants, marketers, financial planners, clothing companies, musicians, and more, each equipped with a booth and, when applicable, free samples or items to buy and take home. Last year’s expo had 32 vendors, and after nearly doubling the amount this year, Marshall plans for the 2016 expo to have more than 100 vendors.
“We’re 60 percent of the population, and we don’t even know these businesses exist,” Marshall said. “These guys are starting to buy from each other. They’re saying, ‘I see someone in my community I can buy from.'”
Below, see some of the cool businesses from the 2015 Genesee County Black Business Expo.
The Comp Guys
Flint Central graduate Shawn Jones went to school for marketing and management, but he has been fixing computers for his friends and family for as long as he can remember. He began doing graphic design since 2006, he finally made the plunge into opening The Comp Guys storefront, located at 408 S. Center Road Suite B, Flint, in Aug. 2014. The Comp Guys can be reached at 810.250.7585.
Ornamental Security Doors & Windows
Willie Franklin started Ornamental Security Doors in 1980 to tackle the security problems he saw in Flint. 35 years later, he’s still in business, selling doors his company makes: security storm doors, steel entry doors, window guards, designer railings and more. The showroom and service center is located at 3042 W. Pasadena, Flint, and can be reached at 810-733-6790.
Total Life Prosperity
Husband-and-wife duo Dwayne and Sonyita Clemons’ company Total Life Prosperity, LLC creates personal success plans to help people excel in financial planning, health and wellness, spiritual awakening, and enlightened perspectives. Their web site references 35 years of “combined training through education, life experience, job training, work experience and continuous life improvement.”
Artistic Visions Enterprise
Artistic Visions Enterprise, LLC is year-old company founded by Flint natives that specializes in video production, photography, graphic design, event management, guest speaking, and partnering for volunteer work. They can be reached on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
Anointed Hands Travel
Mount Morris Ruth Wright and Cheasaning resident Tawana Harrison started their travel agency Anointed Hands Travel about a year ago. “I love to travel, and my partner is the same way. We love to travel, we love going places, and we love helping people, and learning about different cultures,” Wright said. “People always assume it’ll be really expensive, but it isn’t always expensive.”
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