Black-Owned Business Showcase taking place at Woodland Mall

KENTWOOD, Mich. (WOOD) — The first Black-Owned Business Showcase is taking place Friday and Saturday at the Woodland Mall in Kentwood.

There are 40 businesses taking part each day.

“Today is history,” said Benjamin Robinson, the owner of Benjamin’s Popcorn in Wyoming.

In a year when things have been far from easy for the Black community, dozens of Black business owners are joining forces to show West Michigan what they have to offer.

“We say Black lives matter — this is showing Black lives matter. We’re telling them through business, you matter,” said Robinson. “We’re not just limited to one thing. We are diverse into many different things.”

Robinson says he wants to set an example for the next generation.

“We hear a lot about what’s happening at 4 o’clock in the morning to our young men, but we don’t hear about what young men are designing shoes at 4 in the morning or printing off their own t-shirts,” said Robinson.

“This sold out almost immediately. It was amazing,” said Cecily McCabe, the marketing director for the Woodland Mall.

McCabe says she’s glad they’re able to provide a platform.

‘”We really felt like this was a way for us to reach out and help with some healing in the community, but then also help businesses grow,” said McCabe.

Robinson hopes that healing will push for change.

“In the midst of this pandemic and social unrest, civil unrest, we need to build up the positives that are in the Black community,” said Robinson.

The Black-Owned Business Showcase runs Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

A full list of participating businesses can be found online.