In January 2015, Forbes Magazine ranked Grand Rapids the 2nd worst economy in America for African-Americans. Depending on where you live in the city or what ethnicity you are this news may not be shocking.
Coming from Detroit, a city that is not the best economically but with many black owned businesses, the hardships for black entrepreneurs and the lack of successful minority owned businesses in the city of Grand Rapids is quite obvious to me.
Taking part in networking events such as Black Women Connect and GRABB (Grand Rapids All Area Black Businesses), I realize that there is a whole separate city within Grand Rapids; the community of black entrepreneurs. It’s not that there aren’t black entrepreneurs in the city because I’ve seen and met tons but we just are hidden. Hidden behind lack of resources and generations of money.
Since I’ve moved to Grand Rapids in 2014, I’ve witnessed so much growth in this city. Not just the new and bigger buildings but culture as well. More recently I’ve noticed the growth and unity of black business owners. This is due to the efforts of Jamiel Robinson, founder of GRABB, as well as other organizations who strive to empower black and minority businesses. I know that by being apart of a black owned creative agency, I am also taking part in the growth and change that is to come for Grand Rapids. I believe that one day, Grand Rapids will be one of the top cities economically, not just for African-Americans, but for all races. As we do more Video Production in Grand Rapids we get a first hand look
Written by Layah Photos by Leo