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Brother of George Floyd attends Augusta’s Black Dollar Expo

Published: Sep. 26, 2020 at 11:20 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -

The Pandemic has shuttered many small businesses, and a new report shows its hit Black-owned businesses the hardest.

“With this pandemic going on, that just killed it all right there, it just took everything away from Black business owners” said Javierus Smith, organizer of the Black Dollar Expo.

An August 2020 report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York found that 41 percent of Black-owned businesses have closed because of the pandemic. In comparison, the study found 17 percent of white-owned businesses closed because of COVID-19. The Black Dollar Expo aimed to shed light on the issues and offer a little help.

“We have about 13 vendors, with products on hand, ready to sell and network with other business owners, and just kind of circulate the black dollar and the objective of black entrepreneurship" said Smith.

The event featured a special guest speaker, Milton Carney, one of the brothers of George Floyd.

“I don’t want nobody to experience what me and my family have had to experience. And if we don’t change something, a lot more of us is gonna experience it" said Carney.

Carney has traveled to several cities across the country, he says to fight for change and spread an important message.

“The laws would change if we put the righteous people in those positions, but it’s got to come from us getting off our couches, getting from off the tables and running our names, being counted for" he said.

Guests of the event also had the opportunity to network and shop from local businesses.

“It starts at the local level, getting people together, getting businesses who want to help hire young people, who want to create wealth within the community” said Jared Williams, candidate for District Attorney.

All the speakers and business owners also wanted to share pride in the city of Augusta.

“As a city, in general, we are resilient and we are strong. We are capable of really not just conforming to the status quo, but making it, our job and our responsibility to take an active part” said Motivational Speaker Destiny King-Cannon.

The event organizers say they plan to continue the Black Dollar Expo annually, and create similar yet smaller events throughout the year.

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