Thanks to Black Business Weekend, many Central Florida businesses are anticipating a boom over the next few days.
What You Need To Know
- This weekend is Black Business Weekend in Orlando
- The event runs Friday through Sunday
- According to the Florida Chamber of Commerce, Florida is second in the country with more than 250,000 Black-owned businesses
Florida ranks second when it comes to the number of Black-owned businesses in the country, according to the Florida Chamber of Commerce.
Chamber officials say that Florida has over 250,000 Black-owned businesses — 77% of those businesses, though, are struggling financially after challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thaddeus Kornegay is the owner of the South Downtown and Belle Isle chapter of Camp Gladiator in Orlando.
Like many fitness instructors, he's all about working hard, pushing limits and getting results.
However, for him, the passionate fire isn’t just for his business, it’s in who he is and how he got here.
Kornegay said he’s had to overcome intense financial obligations, along with the added barriers he says he’s faced because of his race.
"So, just being here now, through all the obstacles we have to go through — don’t get me wrong, entrepreneurship is really hard — you just gotta push through," he said. “Financial backing, basically. Financial backing to stay in business and to start business. To start business and stay in business is kind of hard, but we had to overcome that. As an entrepreneur, we all know we need money to make money.”
The main message he wants to share is that investing in Black business is worth it.
His other mission is to help the next generation see what their future can be.
“It’s just getting them to that point, and letting them know it is possible," Kornegay said. "So if they see someone like me making it happen, they can too, and that’s what I’m all about.”
Black Business Weekend is centered around a summit and expo to promote Black- and brown-owned business in the state.
The event helps support an organization called Project Future, which offers an 8-week program on business ownership and financial independence to middle and high schoolers.
Click here to see a listing of some Black-owned businesses in the central Florida area.