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2023 Genesee County Black Business Expo and Financial Empowerment Summit expected to empower Flint’s Black community economically

Written by Tanya Terry

Moving forward the late Superintendent Quintin Marshall’s love for the community and spirit to empower the Black community economically is the goal of the Genesee County Black Business Expo and Financial Empowerment Summit, according to the event’s chairman.

The Genesee County Black Business Expo and Financial Empowerment Summit has taken place for over 10 years and is the legacy of the late Superintendent Quintin Marshall. Marshall, the event’s founder, died in 2018.

Event chairman Chennelle Dismond has worked in the community as a financial professional for over 25 years teaching financial education, working in lending, working with business owners and working with individuals across the community.

The Genesee County Black Business Expo and Financial Empowerment Summit provides information and access to resources that often go untapped by the Black community.

“There is a known marginalization and a disconnect when it comes to accessing capital and resources that build original wealth, build healthy economic structures, build happy, healthy homes and lifestyle,” said Dismond. “Federal, state and local resources will be brought under one roof into an area where questions and answers can take place.”

Minority business owners will be able to set up their businesses at the venue. Dismond pointed out some of these business owners may be currently set up in their garages, basements or places that are not proximate to resources.

Dismond stated Flint community is a resource-rich community, but she said there may be a disconnect when people don’t know where the resources are or how they can access them. At the upcoming July 14 event, participating business owners can also receive information on identifying both local and government resources.

The topics this year will include “Turning Passion into Profits”, “Business Credit Vs. Personal Credit and WHY both are important”, “Why do I Need a Business Plan”, and “Access to Capital – Show Me the Money.”

Special guests panelists will include professional women in trades and women breaking barriers in a new way to show women additional opportunities to build wealth.

“This year we’re putting the spotlight on professional women in trades because it’s an untapped area for women. It’s not often encouraged for women to be in trades-contractors, plumbers, electricians, journeymen. It’s not something that is historically, typically or traditionally discussed with females-because it’s a male-dominated area. But women are breaking barriers, and they’re doing great things. It provides an opportunity for women to see that there’s someone that looks like them that can support them in the direction of resources and help them break down the stereotype and also the fear. This is not about feminists or saying women can do everything men can do. We’re not made anatomically the same. But can we do this? Absolutely, and we can be excellent.”

Youth entrepreneurs ages 17 and under are also encouraged to participate. They will be able showcase their products or service for free.

The event is also free and open to the public. It takes place from 10 a.m. -3 p.m. Friday, July 14, at Berston Field House 3300 Saginaw St., Flint, MI 48505.

For more information, including information on being a vendor at the event, contact BLACKBUSINESSEXPO.FLINT@GMAIL.COM.

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