Barbara Davis

Recent Articles

What does the Minnesota Black Chamber of Commerce do for Black business?

Many Black business owners are not sure
 
By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

The overarching question of the MSR multi-part series on local Black businesses is, “Do Blacks support each other?” During our interviews with many local Black business owners, they told us that they are not members of the Minnesota Black Chamber of Commerce (MBCC), which describes itself as “an alliance of business leaders and entrepreneurs” whose main vision “is to promote and improve the general welfare, prosperity and inter-connectedness of the community of African descent.”

Avenue Eatery Owner Sammy McDowell said he knows about the chamber but is not a member: “I don’t know what it is all about.”

“If I see what it is…if it’s something good for us to be in, I wouldn’t have no problems at all [being a member],” said South Minneapolis barber Cameron Cook. “Why I am not a member? I don’t know. I don’t have an excuse,” responded computer store owner Eugene Banks. “There are a lot of organizations that I am not a part of that I should be a part of. Continue Reading →

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Successful Black businesses are open to criticism

Tomorrow’s young entrepreneurs need mentoring opportunities today
 
By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

Though the number of Black-owned businesses in Minnesota has been on the rise over the past 20 years, many of them fail to make it past the five-year mark that is generally believed to be the make-it-or-break-it period for new businesses. Currently there are over 200 different types of Black businesses in the Twin Cities area. The MSR recently talked with local Black business people who offered first-hand advice on how to help a Black business thrive today. “We have a great number of barbershops and hair salons, but I would like to see lawyers…and other [Black businesses] in the professional realm,” observed Michael Wright, St. Paul’s Golden Thyme owner and operator. Continue Reading →

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Ken Davis: the face of success for Minnesota Black business

Grandmother’s recipe generates millions of dollars across the Midwest
 

First in a muli-part series
 
 
By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

After Ken Davis closed his take-out restaurant in Edina after owning it for a year, he physically took his homemade barbecue sauce on the road to local supermarkets to sell it. “There was more than one discouraging word” when Davis made his decision to market his sauce, recalls Barbara Davis. “We did receive lots of discouraging words. It was hard to market barbecue sauce. [Some] people said they don’t eat barbecue sauce – it’s like eating hot sauce to them and they weren’t interested.”

Her late husband’s bio on www.ken davis-bbq.com says that the discouragers included the Small Business Administration that “thought he was crazy,” and banks and financiers resisted his requests as well. Continue Reading →

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