He says the support Peoria gives to businesses is something he is grateful for - minority-owned or not.
The Minority Business Development Center is another organization supporting black owned businesses as they navigate the challenges of beginning their businesses.
"The Minority Business Development Center decided to move forward to bring the education and empowerment to the community to not only educate and empower minorities, but to equip them with the tools and resources they need to get started," said Minority Business Development Center Program Manager Shielondria Parker.
"It's kinda like reaching back and helping others come up with you," said Arbuckle. "And so, my part with the Black Business Alliance and our contractor development classses is basically 'share the knowledge.'"
Arbuckle says they also guide other businesses by sharing their own personal experiences.
Young’s Popcorn Heaven is another black business in the Peoria supported by the Minority Business Development Center. Owner JoAnn Parker-Young said the Minority Business Development Center has helped them build up a strong clientele through their support.
"They come in, they tell us that , yeah, we love your products, and we tell all your friends and family about you," she said. "And we just want to keep you guys in the community because we don't want to see you guys fail. And I give our praise to the customers for that. Because you never really know if you're doing a good service to the community unless they tell you themselves."
Joshua Gunn of the Peoria Area Chamber says in a city like Peoria with a rich Black history, Black-owned businesses must be prioritized.
"The shorter version of that is that if we really want Peoria to thrive, then Black-owned Peoria has to thrive, as well," he said.
Gunn says building up black owned businesses helps build a stable economy where everyone participates.
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