Groups want to attract more minority patrons and businesses downtown

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – As downtown Macon continues to grow, some organizations are trying to make sure minority businesses do too.

Another recipient of the Downtown Challenge Grant plans to up lift the downtown area by helping it become a melting pot. Downtown is doing well, but some say they want more diversity among age, ethnicity, and spiritually.

“As downtown benefits, the entire community benefits, but we don’t want it directed toward any particular [area]. We want to improve the entire community,” Macon Black Pages Publisher Alex Habersham said.

Newtown Macon and Macon Black Pages are collaborating to try to attract minority owned businesses and patrons downtown.

“We want everybody to feel like downtown is the place to be,” he said.

The two groups are recipients of $50,000 from the Community Foundation of Central Georgia’s Downtown Challenge Grant. The money will go toward training current downtown businesses to attract minorities, and to give resources to minority owned businesses to move downtown.

“Access to training and one-on-one coaching from both Newtown staff and the Macon Black Pages. They get free tuition to Newtown’s Entrepreneurs Academy, so they’ll be able to go through and learn all the basic skills they’re going to need. We’re going to graduate them to be investment ready,” Newtown Macon CEO Josh Rogers said.

According to Rogers, by diversifying downtown, Macon will be appealing to visitors.

“When we have a more diverse group of entrepreneurs, we have a more diverse group of businesses that’s going to be attractive for people to come visit from all over,” Rogers said.

Rogers says the initiative will roll out the programming at the beginning of the new year.

If you’re a minority business owner, or a business downtown looking for more information on the program, you can email Habersham at habersham7@gmail.com or call (478)464-0074

Categories: Bibb County, Local News

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