Columbus ranks at the top in black-owned businesses

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This article was originally published on June 3, 2023 on WTVM.

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) – Columbus is at the top of the national charts, when it comes to the percentage of small-black owned businesses.

“We get a chance to set a legacy before us,” says President of the River Valley Black Chamber of Commerce, Michael Muhammad.

Muhammad tells News Leader 9 he and a group of others, were shown a directory from 1925 listing several black-owned businesses that were thriving in the Fountain City.

“We want to carry on that energy, carry on that spirit, and let this generation know it is possible for us to come together, and for us to be successful,” says Muhammad.

Muhammad says being apart of the fourth highest percentage of businesses means everything.

“Not only do we have our own businesses and get to be entrepreneurs, but we also employ people, you know, that helps when it comes to quality of life in the city.”

There are about 270 black-owned businesses serving a variety of needs. Such as Double Vision Eye Care, the Photoshop Selfie House, and Overflow Barber Shop and Salon to name a few.

After 21 years of business and pouring into the community, Overflow owner Gerald Riley shares the key in doing so:

“As long as you continue to do the right thing, your business will stay afloat,” says Riley, “not only will it stay afloat, it will succeed.”

“I think this ranking is important to the city of Columbus, as Columbus expands businesses in the community,” says Antwane Darby, Owner of Pedal Pub Columbus.

Fairly new to the Fountain City is Pedal Pub Columbus. Owner Antwane Darby says being ranked number 4 in the nation is important, but it is equally important to maintain the title.

“It involves our city officials reaching out to the community, understanding the challenges that affect minority and small businesses, how they can help, and then what practices or proactive plans we can put in place to make sure that those business owners receive proper funding, or whatever assistance they need to make sure they are prominent and thriving in the community,” says Darby.

Pedal Pub is apart of the River Valley Black Chamber of Commerce. Established in 2021, the organization works to empower black owned businesses economically, and professionally.

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