The Black Business Expo offers networking and new opportunities in Charlottesville

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) – Dozens of black-owned businesses gathered at IX Art Park on Saturday afternoon. They all bring different goods to the table, but they all have a common goal.

The “Black Business Expo” is an opportunity for equity, according to the director. It’s a place for companies to showcase their work while supporting others.

“You might hear someone say I never knew there was a business over and over again,” said Ty Cooper, director of the Black Business Expo.

That is exactly what the Black Business Expo is trying to fix.

“There are more black-owned businesses in Charlottesville that people are aware of,” said Libby Edwards-Allbaugh, president of Tax Ladies. “This is an opportunity to showcase the different companies we have and the different things they do.”

Black businesses from across Charlottesville are gathering for this event. Even on a rainy afternoon, people come out to take the opportunity.

“It’s great, there’s a lot of support, a lot of love, and I still love that,” said Casandra Rodriguez, owner of Vegan Comfort Soul Food.

This was Casandra’s first time at the expo, and it’s her first year owning her Vegan Comfort soul food spot. She says she came to the show to grow her business, but it’s not just about presence.

“It’s also a networking, and it’s for me to expand my network of companies to refer my customers to and also for goods and services,” said Edwards-Allbaugh.

This was the fifth year of the expo, and you can expect many more to come.

“The city made the list of one of the best places to live, right, so we had to make sure that was true, that was true,” said Cooper. “It is not correct if not everyone has equity.”

The expo will take place again at this time next year.

Copyright 2021 WVIR. All rights reserved.

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