Trade fair near GR to connect minority owners with businesses

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – A showcase of minority-owned businesses arriving in the Grand Rapids area this month is hoping to not only help them survive, but also keep them going.

The United, we sell “ The showcase will take place at the Deltaplex arena on October 15th. The showcase will include some 200 minority-owned businesses.

“I was nervous at one point, but right now I’m excited. I’m excited, I’m excited and just grateful, ”said event organizer Benjamin Robinson.

Robinson, who owns Robinson’s popcorn, helped organize a Black owned business expo at Woodland Mall last fall. The October 2020 event showcased 80 black-owned businesses from across the country over the course of two days. Robinson says that since the event, 25% of the companies that participated are now able to support themselves 100% financially through their businesses.

Robinson says that due to the success he’s been hosting the event again this year, but on a larger scale.

Organizers say that before the event starts at 11 a.m., business owners will be able to network with representatives from different companies. He says the goal is to give businesses the platform to push their products and services further.

“It helps minority businesses engage, be informed and take responsibility,” said Robinson. “Last year the community came to help them survive. This year, American companies are stepping out to help them maintain themselves. “

People attending the event will be able to find minority-owned clothing companies, coffee companies, water companies and even financial services at the event. Organizers say they have room for up to 500 vendors.

“The reason it’s important to me is because I started my business through the community. My family and I went door to door selling t-shirts to open a popcorn store and now our popcorn store is selling here in this arena, ”Robinson said as he stood. stood in the entrance to the Deltaplex. “Our popcorn store is in a few grocery stores. Our popcorn store helped us open a bagel store. So I understand where the companies are because I just got out of there.

The showcase will take place from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on October 15. Those interested in attending will need to purchase a ticket. They are available online at the showcase site or at the door on the day of the event.

Organizers say there is still room for companies interested in showing their products or services. More information can be found at the site of the event.

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