LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — Ronnie Shoultz’s business, Heritage Connection Gift Shop, has been downtown for eleven years, and he has seen a lot of change.
“With the lofts and with increase in businesses moving in to the Main Street area and downtown in general has given us more visibility, and a lot more visitors coming in,” he said.
He said the local business community in general is supportive of one another, but he knows the value in African-American business owners specifically looking out for each other.
“Absolutely. Absolutely. History has told us, and still even today, we know that there are sometimes some discrepancies, or some times you don’t get the kind of support that you might need or want from other communities.”
On Tuesday, African-American business owners in Lynchburg are gathering to make connections, learn about each others’ services, and refer their customers to one another.
Local NAACP President Carl Hutcherson organized the event.
WFXR spoke with him at a downtown barbershop, one of the businesses attending the event.
“Since we were downtown,” he said, “I thought that we would come to this very fine, fine shop, and I’m so appreciative of both Sam and Que, they do a wonderful job here in the city, and provide a great service. There are a lot of barbershop and beauty salons, there are all kinds of businesses, and we’re going to be recognizing them tonight.”
He identified about 110 small businesses in Lynchburg owned by African-Americans.
He hopes bringing everyone together will encourage referrals to other businesses and help everyone grow.
“How do you make a small business big? You’ve got to feed it. It’s like a calf and a cow. A pig and a hog. You’ve got to feed it.”
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