Macon boutique wins $25,000 grant through Coalition to Back Black Businesses
Virginia Sharp is the owner of Daemarii's Unique Boutique in Macon.
MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT ) — Virginia Sharp is the owner of Daemarii’s Unique Boutique in Macon.
Sharp’s business is one of 25 in the country to receive a $25,000 grant from the American Express Coalition to Back Black Businesses.
“It’s game changer for me,” she said. “And when I say that, I mean by being able to participate and do more things in the community, for working capital, replacing and continuing to help with inventory.”
Sharp says she found out about a $5,000 grant through the same organization from the Macon Black Pages last year. She had about 15 minutes to get her application in before submissions closed. She wound up receiving that grant, which made her eligible to apply for the $25,000 grant. Sharp says she had to take classes and participate in surveys.
Then last week, she was notified about being selected for the grant.
“I’ve never received any kind of awards to that magnitude,” Sharp said. “I’ve been very very grateful and very honored to have that, and to represent Georgia in being one of the ones to receive that particular grant.”
Alex Habersham, the publisher of the Macon Middle Georgia Black Pages and Resource Guide, says Sharp is an example of what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur.
“You have to keep trying, you have to identify resources,” he said. “You have to build relationships, you have to educate yourself.”
Habersham says the area having more African American businesses and people spending money at those businesses benefits the local economy.
“They realize the importance of entrepreneurship, they realize the importance of African American businesses, and they understand that this can help grow the entire community,” he said.
Sharp is working on opening a second location in her hometown of Cochran. She hopes to inspire young girls to become successful entrepreneurs just like her.
“To be able to see that, ‘Yes I can do this, it can be done. You have to dream, you have to work hard and once you put your mind to something know that it will happen,'” Sharp said.
The Coalition to Back Black Businesses will open its $5,000 grant applications in September. At least 300 business owners will receive the grant.