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Minority Business Expo draws large crowd

Photo by Tevin Stinson

Minority Business Expo draws large crowd
August 31
04:59 2017

Minority business owners from across the Triad took center stage last weekend as entrepreneurs, celebrity guest, and hundreds of supporters came together for the fourth annual Triad Minority Business Expo.

Since 2014 the event sponsored by Maximum Enterprises has been the place to get information on small business right here in the Triad area.  Along with more than 75 different vendors, the event also featured free seminars and workshops designed to help attendees develop their business ventures. Workshops included “Transformational Leadership Strategies,” “Community Based Lending Options,” “How to Stop Self-Defeating Behaviors,” and “Creating the Mindset for Success.”

After wrapping up one of the seminars, Sharon Jackson from Greensboro said she found out about the Expo on social media and decided to attend. She said she was shocked to see so many businesses she had never heard of before.

“There are a lot of wonderful people here offering great services that I would never know about. I’m glad I decided to come,” Jackson said.

During an interview with The Chronicle, co-chairs for the event, N.C. Rep. Ed Hanes Jr. and Cheryl Lindsay, director of human resources & inclusion/diversity at Hanesbrands Inc., discussed the importance of minority owned businesses and events like the Triad Minority Business Expo.

Lindsay, who holds a master’s in business administration from Columbia University, said minority businesses are critical to the success of the entire community. She said, “It is important for us to stop and make sure our small businesses have all the tools and resources they need to be successful, and Maximum Enterprise has pulled that together.”

Rep. Hanes, who owns a renewable energy company here in the city, said although he doesn’t have anything against working for big-name companies, as a black company it is imperative to understand the importance of financial freedom.

“I look at the 80 small businesses here today, most of them black-owned, and I know we have a chance,” Hanes said.

“As a black community, it is important that we understand where we are in this country. We have to understand there isn’t going to be anyone giving black people and minorities anything in this country for the foreseeable future. Anything we get we’re going to have to create it and build this thing up until we have a re-emergence of a Black Wall Street like we had in Durham for years. It has to happen.”

While reflecting on the success of the event, Reginald McCaskill, president and CEO of Maximum Enterprises said, when he started the event he wanted people to look forward to every year but he was still overwhelmed by the support the event received this year.

What began as a one-day event at the Enterprise Center has grown into a weekendlong event that featured business owners from as far as Fayetteville and Charlotte to the Triad. This year the event included a kickoff reception on Friday, Aug. 25, and wrapped up with the Classy All White Affair on Saturday following the expo.

“I was overwhelmed and amazed at the response we received from the community. It seems like the crowd tripled as the day went on,” said McCaskill. “People are still calling me this week talking about the expo and people who were unable to attend are marking their calendars for next year.”

McCaskill also announced the launch of the Triad Minority Business Connector, an online directory designed to help local businesses gain more exposure. While chatting with The Chronicle earlier this week, McCaskill encouraged local entrepreneurs to register.

For more information on the fourth annual Minority Business Expo, visit maximumenterprisesinc.com. To register for the Triad Minority Business Connector, visit triadminoritybusinessconnector.net.

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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