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The REAL Black Friday Expo and Bus Tour 

By Megan Davis

The Truth Contributor


For decades, the day after Thanksgiving has always been a day where stores drastically slash their prices for the best deals of the year. Black Friday is as much a national holiday as Thanksgiving and Christmas. Opening before dawn, many stores have extreme deals

on electronics, especially televisions, computers, games and toys. Black Friday is the official jumpoff for the Christmas Shopping Season. 


This year, the Ivy Entrepreneur Institute held The Real Black Friday Expo and Bus Tour, featuring 46 Black-owned businesses. Thirty seven local businesses such as computer support, natural skincare, a seamstress, jewelry designers, clothiers, comics and lemonade loaded into the New Life Center, located at 1430 W. Bancroft Street’ as vendors to welcome shoppers throughout the day. 


“The overall goal, when we set out with this event, was to create more awareness about African American owned businesses as well as infuse cash into these businesses,” said Erik Johnson, founder of this event. 


Free to the public, the expo was open from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., with a bus tour chartered by Childers, to nine local businesses. This gave black Toledoans the opportunity to learn about and support businesses they otherwise may not have known about. Sponsored by The Ivy Entrepreneur Institute, the Black Friday Expo and Bus Tour was also held to give business owners a connection to one another and to an organization that can assist business owners at any stage of their businesses. 


Johnson said, “Our whole focus is helping underrepresented  individuals start, sustain and grow their businesses and we do that by way of the validation of ideas, the development of business plans and disseminating information as well as hosting educational seminars and events that provide access to knowledge.”


Amber S. Hawkins, owner of Your Computer Needs LLC commented “Thank you all so much for having the event. I must say hats off to you all. I've vended a good number of events, but I'll admit this one far exceeded my expectations! If I wasn't vending, I definitely would have gone on the bus trip. Thank you all for giving us the opportunity.”


Black expos are more common in larger urban areas such as Chicago, Cleveland and  Indianapolis where the Indiana Black Expo is held annually in the Summer. Indiana’s Black Expo was founded in 1970 and just completed its 48th year and now welcomes over 200,000 attendees from around the U.S. In Toledo, the establishment of an event like this is right on time as more locals are increasingly conscious of whom they support and where their dollars go. 


The Ivy Entrepreneur Institute was founded in 2016 and is located at 420 Madison Ave. Suite 510. To learn more about how to get started on a new business or to gain support and information for an existing business, contact IEI at 419-989-6771 or visit www.ivinstitute.org



Copyright © 2018 by [The Sojourner's Truth]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11/29/18 08:43:40 -0500.



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