‘Buy Black Downtown Macon Tour’ back for second year, hoping for more foot traffic

The "Buy Black Downtown Macon Tour" is back for its second year.
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Buy Black Downtown Macon Tour returns for second year
Macon

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) — The “Buy Black Downtown Macon Tour” is back for its second year.

It’s happening Saturday afternoon.

The tour got its start back in 2020 as a way of highlighting Black businesses in Macon.

Downtown Macon has more than 400 businesses, and just 11% of them are Black-owned.

It’s a number NewTown Macon is hoping to increase.

“People are really excited about learning more about business owners and learning more about downtown and how they can see themselves in downtown Macon,” Director of Place Emily Hopkins said.

The tour is one of many initiatives NewTown has started in an effort to diversify downtown. Those include the Downtown Diversity Initiative and NewTown Loans, which both help people of color get a head start in learning how to start a business.

Wayne Woodard, the co-owner of Ambitious Graphics, says many people don’t know how many Black-owned business downtown Macon really has.

“Some of these businesses have been here for several years,” he said. “And for people don’t know that they’re there, it’s like, ‘Man what are we doing wrong? What can we do different?'”

Woodard says he opened his business six years ago and that he’s been fortunate enough to continue thriving even through the pandemic.

He wants other Black business owners to thrive, too.

“All of the different events and things that go on in the downtown area, it just brings traffic, so people are just staying downtown after or before their event,” he said. “They’re just walking around, so nine times out of 10, they may stop into your business, and that’s a new potential customer.”

Brandon Harris is the owner of Nappy Hustles Clothing store, which opened its doors last year.

“On a day-to-day basis, it varies,” he said. “You may get 20 visitors a day, but with the tour tomorrow, we are looking forward to being jam-packed.”

This will be the first time Harris is participating in the tour. Harris is also looking to inspire other Black entrepreneurs by letting them showcase their products in front of his store.

“We’re going to have them all out on the street to connect what we’re doing with the Buy Black Tour,” he said.

The free, self-guided tour is taking place Saturday, February 12 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Categories: Bibb County, Featured, Local News, WMGT

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