City of Nashville proclaims August as Black Business Month

Several black business owners and entrepreneurs in Nashville were invited to the proclamation reading.
Published: Aug. 10, 2023 at 10:27 AM EDT
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NASHVILLE, Ga. (WALB) - For the first time, the mayor of Nashville has declared August as Black Business and Black Philanthropy Month.

“A city like Nashville is one that we want to bring the attention to. One for the resources of the state of Georgia to see the black owned businesses that need to be recognized, as well as for black owned businesses to also celebrate themselves,” Dewayne Johnson, Southern Georgia Black Chamber President, said.

The city in partnership with Berrien Chamber and Southern Georgia Black Chamber— invited several black business owners and entrepreneurs from Berrien and surrounding areas. To showcase their “new city of change”.

“We will continue to be a champion of diversity and help provide equitable opportunities so our black business owners can continue to thrive,” Darquita Williams, City of Nashville Finance Director, said.

One black business owner in Nashville says the community has welcomed him with open arms since opening.

“Well first of all it’s always been a dream of me and my family to own a business,” Rodrick Smith Sr., Owner of Smokin’ Smitty’s Father and Son BBQ, said. “The thing about Black Business Month is bringing awareness to the black businesses. We pour a lot into economic growth. Not just in the cities, but your state, and nationwide.”

It is estimated that 2.6 million black owned businesses in the United States generate close to 150 billion dollars each year, according to the U.S. Minority Business Development Agency.

“We found that not many do know that National Black Business Month actually exist in the month of August so this more of an awareness campaign,” Johnson, said.

Southern Georgia Black Chambers will be spreading awareness at proclamation readings for Valdosta as well as Thomasville in the upcoming week.