August begins National Black Business Month, Mankato area businesses celebrate

Many Black-owned businesses call Mankato home and offer much-needed services
August is National Black Business Month and many Black-owned businesses in the greater Mankato area are taking time out to celebrate.
Published: Aug. 2, 2022 at 5:43 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 2, 2022 at 8:14 PM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - August is National Black Business Month and many Black-owned businesses in the greater Mankato area are taking time out to celebrate.

”The Mankato area and how diverse it is becoming, and it highlights the need for businesses to accommodate different demographics in the area as well,” said Mohamed Alsadig, executive director of the Greater Mankato Diversity Council.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis reported 26,506 Black-owned businesses in Minnesota in 2017, and that number has continued to grow in the last six years.

“The Mankato area has seen an influx of minority-owned businesses in the last few years. In my opinion, it is not enough, and we need to push for more ownership,” Alsadig added.

Black-owned businesses, like Mirrored Image Salon and Unique Hair and Ink, call Mankato home and offer much-needed services.

“Celebrating, learning, becoming aware of different cultures and, hopefully, being able to learn something from those cultures as to how they do things, why they do those things, what’s important to them,” Unique Hair And Ink owner Richmond Clark explained.

“I think the importance of having a diverse salon like this one in this area is extremely important,” said Valerie Hines, owner of Mirrored Images Salon. “A lot of times, we get turned away in other areas that don’t provide the services that we need or have the education or knowledge that is needed to be able to service the different clientele here.”

Clark and Hines see the importance of highlighting Black-owned businesses in their community on a daily basis.

“I think that when it comes to a small business, whether it is clothes, hair, music, anything that we are birthing forward to bring awareness into the community as well as to develop our community to grow further, I think that it is extremely important,” Hines stated.

“And then now, to be a part of National Black Business Month, as well as just the minority culture within Minnesota and Mankato. It’s been huge, it has been really great,” Clark added.

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