21
Tue, May

Vermont Slauson Economic Development Corporation CEO’s Corner

Business
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Dear Friends of VSEDC,

As we turn the page to August, we usher in an important annual observance close to our community: National Black Business Month. This dedicated period spotlights the myriad of contributions of Black entrepreneurs whose stories continue to inspire us, shape our communities and power our economy.

It’s a month that reminds us of the resilience of these businesses, from the African Insurance Company's pioneering spirit in 1810 to the groundbreaking patent of Thomas Jennings. A time that recalls the power of the written word through Freedom’s Journal, the first Black newspaper founded in 1827, and the transformative beauty norms embraced by Rose Meta Morgan’s salon in 1945.

Black entrepreneurs drive innovation, provide crucial services, and generate wealth within their neighborhoods. Their efforts are instrumental in shaping the cultural and economic landscape of our society. Yet, despite their undeniable contributions, Black businesses often face systemic barriers that hinder their potential.

VSEDC recognizes that the road to these achievements has been, and remains, riddled with systemic obstacles. Stark statistics, like Black business owners being turned down for loans at double the rate of white business owners, and the fact that Black entrepreneurs were 30 times less likely to receive government aid during the Covid-19 pandemic, underscore the need for resources and support that specifically cater to these businesses.

This is where VSEDC stands firmly committed. As an organization founded and led by a Black woman, we are intimately aware of these challenges. We are dedicated to leveling the playing field by providing resources, mentorship, and support to our community. Programs like the CEO Series and Food Service University are part of our evolving holistic approach to help overcome these obstacles and bolster the success of Black entrepreneurs.

As we commemorate National Black Business Month, let us all take tangible steps to support Black businesses. Whether it's patronizing their establishments, advocating for their services, or sharing their stories, every gesture counts. This support transcends mere economics—it is a societal statement, a declaration of our commitment to inclusivity, diversity, and resilience.

Remember, supporting Black businesses isn't just about economic growth; it's about fostering equity, cultivating resilience, and building a more inclusive community. Every investment, every purchase, every word of encouragement, moves us one step closer to this goal.

To the Black entrepreneurs within our community, your journey is part of the rich tapestry of our shared history. Your courage, tenacity, and innovation continue to shape our world. At VSEDC, we see you, we acknowledge you, and we stand ready to support you.

Together, we can ensure that the spirit of Black Business Month extends far beyond August, becoming a beacon that guides and motivates us throughout the year.

Sincerely,
Quentin Strode
President/CEO

https://vsedc.org/