Grand Rapids group helps Black-owned businesses thrive

Black History Month

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Grand Rapids Public Library was celebrating Black History Month Wednesday with its virtual lunchtime series, featuring an organization aimed at helping Black-owned businesses thrive in West Michigan and beyond.

The group Grand Rapids Area Black Businesses was formed in 2012 and in that time has supported several businesses and helped them expand and network.

GRABB also helps Black-owned businesses access money and resources.

“Some of the work that we’ve done is help Black businesses get into retailers in the area as well as for them to secure capital that at one point in time was inaccessible to them,” said Jamiel Robinson, founder and CEO of Grand Rapids Area Black Businesses.

Looking into 2021, the organization is focused on a development called “District 2012,” which they say will be an entrepreneurial and innovation hub where Black business owners can have a place to launch their businesses and collaborate with others.

The organization also holds an annual event called #TheShift Summit that brings people together to present and share strategies for economic empowerment and equity.

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