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Columbia College hosts Black Business Expo


Columbia College hosted its fourth Black Business Expo Saturday, Feb 18. in Columbia. The Expo was hosted by the office of diversity, equity, and Inclusion.

The Black Business Expo ran from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. inside the Southwell Complex on Rangline Street. The expo included live music and entertainment and was free and open to the public.

Columbia College

Columbia College says more than 60 minority-owned businesses were in attendance for the event to showcase their products and services.

Organizers told ABC 17 News they named Saturday's event directory after James A. Whitt Sr., a Columbia public figure that help shed a light on the impact of minority-owned businesses in Columbia.

According to the college, community members had the chance to shop for everything from food, fashion, beauty, art, financial services, and more.

Organizers told ABC 17 News that Saturday's expo was the first minority in-person business expo since being affected by covid in 2020.

The college said the 60 in attendance were double the number of businesses they had in attendance back in 2020, making it the largest one yet.

Alejandra Gudino, Director of the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Columbia College says one purpose of the event is to show minority businesses the college is doing its best to understand what it's like to be an entrepreneur.

Cakez Customs, a small minority-owned business that customizes a variety of items attended the expo.

Angel Weir, the owner of Cakez Customs, says she is thankful for the opportunity to network. "When it comes to these events it allows the community, like everyone outside of just my circle of people or you know... to get out and see what we are all doing, So I like it," said Weir.

Gudino says they had to turn down 10 businesses for the 2023 expo. However, the college says due to turning people away, they are now planning to expand for the next expo event.

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Joushua Blount

Joushua Blount hails from Cleveland, Ohio and has a bachelor’s degree in media communications from the University of Toledo. He also has a master’s degree from the University Of Alabama. Roll Tide!


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