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Week three recap of Gem City Black Business Month

By Charisse Ponder

The third week of the Gem City Black Business Month has come to a close. Here’s a look at the week’s events.

The first event was titled Becoming a Certified Minority Business Enterprise that took place at the Dayton Aviation National Historical Park. Attendees learned about the application process and requirements to have their business certified at the federal, state and local levels. The event’s speaker was Chrisondra Goodwine, business and technical assistance admin at the City of Dayton Human Relations Council.

She wants applicants to know there are opportunities for businesses of any size when getting certified.

“They should know that no matter what size of your business, you are able to compete for government contracts and for non government contracts,” said Goodwine. “The certification is to help you get into spaces that you couldn’t get into, but you can get into those spaces without certification, but you just get an advantage with it.”

Keenan Woods, Dayton resident, and aspiring business owner said he is taking the next steps to utilize this advantage. He also said that sessions, where participants can get immediate answers, are what the community needs.

“This is the type of forum that the city needs, especially West Dayton, to be able to take advantage of these opportunities to revitalize the neighborhood or expand their business to be sustainable,” said Woods.

Closing out the week was the Black Wall Street & the Tulsa Race Massacre documentary viewing and conversation, held at the Northwest Dayton Metro Library. Leading the discussion was Dr. Vonya Lewis-Thornton, a history professor at Sinclair Community College.  

Natasha Tolentino, a guest and lead program manager for the Agility Prime program at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, said that being a part of the conversation was refreshing and bringing her daughter to the event held generational importance.

“I’ve been very fortunate in that I came up in a village that taught me about my history, taught me about why it was important to pass on this generational information,” she said. “Just having a narrative or oral history is one thing, but actually seeing the devastation on TV is a different thing.”

Lewis-Thornton felt a special connection to people who were distraught by the documentary. Despite what happened in Tulsa, she hopes Black businesses will continue pushing forward.

Here’s what’s coming during week four of the Gem City Black Business Month:

  • The Pitch BLACK Competition — Thursday, Aug. 26 from 6-8 p.m., Dayton Arcade, 35 W. 4th St., Dayton, OH 45402

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