We have long been warned that, if we do not learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it. Knowing our roots, understanding the past, teaches how history makes us who we are. History is a story that is always being written— it is as much a part of today as it is a part of tomorrow.
This Black History Month, we’re honoring the past by focusing on the future while celebrating the stories of today by recognizing and supporting Black entrepreneurs, businesses, and professionals who help mold our economy and define our city. Spend this month, and the ones that follow, by joining the growing movement of people who actively support Black-owned businesses and demonstrate that, together, we can write the future.
Business listings marked with MBAC were provided with assistance from the University of Toledo’s Minority Business Assistance Center (MBAC) Program.
A Wyse Choice Home Care
621 Prentice Ave. | 567-343-2802
Lafrieda’s Cleaning Services MBAC
Shanette Starks, owner
Since 2009. Serving Toledo and the surrounding areas.
Details By Sino
Chris Sino, owner
2705 Nebraska Ave. | 419-279-1000 | DetailsBySino.com
Car detailer and cash wash.
Kruz N Kleen
1841 Dorr St. | 419-255-5336 | Kruznkleen.com
CONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT
Hill & Co Ventures Commercial and Residential Painting MBAC
Chris Hill, owner
2145 E Scott Park Dr., Suite 1150 | 419-297-0855
Kynard Enterprises, building and property maintenance company.
5242 Angola Rd. | 419-699-2679 | kynardenterprises.com
Maria King MBAC
Licensed Commercial Realtor in OH and MI
Independent contractor with Reichle Klein Group
One Seagate, 26th Floor | 419-794-3975 | Rkgcommercial.com
Investment property advisor, specializing in private market.
1232 Flaire Dr. | 419-255-7555 | interfaithgazette.com
Northwest Ohio faith-based newspaper.
Jasmine Schmenk MBAC
@JasmineSchmenkSings on Facebook
@JasmineSchmenk on Instagram and Youtube.
Since 2016. Singer, songwriter, and actress.
The Juice FM 107.3 MBAC
Fleming Street Communications
5902 Southwyck Blvd. | 419-861-9582 | thejuice1073.com
Since 1997. “The People’s Station.”
Peep Game Comix
Peepgamecomix.com | facebook.com/pgcomix
Digital comics platform by African American creators.
The Sojourner’s Truth
1811 Adams St. | 419-243-0007 | Thetruthtoledo.com
Newspaper, art gallery and event center.
The Toledo Journal
419-472-4521 | thetoledojournal.com
Serving Toledo and Northwest Ohio since 1975.
RESTAURANTS & BARS
The Caribbean Breeze
1830 W. Bancroft St. | 419-472-2512 facebook.com/DextersJamaicanResturant
The Classic Lounge
2224 Nebraska Ave. | 419-531-3707
519 N. Reynolds Rd. | facebook.com/PartyAtEvolution
Hot Box Bistro
332 N. Erie St. | 419-690-4990 | hotboxbistro.com
J’Mae’s Home Cooking
3312 Glendale Ave. | 419-720-8222
902 Lagrange St. | 419-242-6666
Our Brother’s Place
233 N. Huron St. | ourbrothersplace.com
The Quality Bar
1424 Cherry St. | 419-243-3291
805 N. Reynolds Rd. | 419-578-5388 | Msrubyskitchen.com
UNB Soul Food Cafe
1855 S. Reynolds Rd. | 419-382-1820
2650 W. Laskey | facebook.com/TheUpgradeBarAndSpirits
BAKERS & CATERERS
419-205-0760 | Classyoccasions.com firstname.lastname@example.org
419-460-8114 | facebook.com/indulgingedibles
So Sweet Kakes
419-699-5412 | facebook.com/sosweetkakes
We Be Ribs MBAC
James McDay, owner
419-537-9268 | Weberibs.com
Since 1993. Food trucks, catering, BBQ, pig roasts and wholesale products.
HEALTH & FITNESS
Tina Miller, owner
3606 W. Sylvania Ave. | 419-740-0218 facebook.com/BOXHOUSEFIT
Download the app for ALL of their info, available in GooglePlay or the App Store!
Faith and Fitness Ministry MBAC
Deborah Murphy, owner
1172 Shadow Ln. | 419-260-6086 | Faithandfitnessministry.org
Since 2018 Empowering individuals to stay healthy in mind, body and spirit.
Jaimee Pettis, yoga instructor
6625 Maplewood Ave., Sylvania | Californiayogastudio.com
Wellness Lifestyle Group MBAC
Bobby Cooper Jr., owner
2255 W. Laskey | 513-447-3927 | Wellnesslifestylegroup.com
@WellnessLifestyleGroup on Facebook email@example.com
Since 2017. Holistic pain and stress management.
BEAUTY & PERSONAL
Beauté Asylum Salon
419-377-9933 | @beaute_asylum on Instagram
Blessed Hands Beauty Bar
1028 N. Holland Sylvania Rd. | 419-961-0954 facebook.com/blessedhandsbeautybar
Bridgette’s Beauty Salon
966 S. Reynolds Rd. | 419-381-8994 | bridgetteshair.mayvenn.com
Brows by CJ
Inside Sola Salon in the Beverly Hills Shopping Center at 5201 Monroe St. | 419-460-1912 | firstname.lastname@example.org
PhiBrows Certified MicroBlading Artist Colleen Jones.
Flakes Does Dreads
At Styles Unlimited | instagram.com/flakesdoesdreads
Kimz Kuttin Up
12 E. Bancroft St. | 419-242-0991
The Kitchen Salon
419-984-0395 | Thekitchensalon.com
Natural hair resource offering products, education and more.
Platinum Sky Nail Bar and Beauty Lounge
4050 Airport Hwy. | 419-469-8980 facebook.com/PlatinumSkyNailBar
Powell’s Barber and Beauty Supply
901 Nebraska Ave. | 419-243-7731 | powellsbeauty.com
Studio 32NINE Salon Suites & Spa
1244 Flaire Dr. | 567-315-8499 | Studio329salon.com
2101 Monroe St. | 419-244-6454
Transformations Natural Hair Salon
EDUCATION & CHILDCARE
A Mother’s Touch Creative Education and Child Care LLC
1320 Walbridge Ave. | 419-389-7623 | Facebook.
Anna M. Walker, owner. Since 1994.
Creative Hearts Educated Minds Learning Center
6030 Secor Rd. | 419-472-0580
Gateway Youth Development Program MBAC
KaTrice Perry, owner
419-378-9899 | email@example.com
Since 2018. Transitional independent living for youth.
Ms. Cathy’s Learning Center
1722 N. Detroit Ave. | 419-244-0030 | facebook.com/mscathyslearningcenter
Mzz Mary’s House Daycare
811 Belmont Ave. | 419-242-8497 facebook.com/MzzMarysHouseDaycare
5119 Dorr St. | 419-531-9699 | facebook.com/BAGME1
E Scentrix MBAC
@E Scentrix Candles on Facebook | @e_scentrix on Instagram.
Unique handcrafted soy candles.
The Magical Mystery Shop MBAC
Ronald K. Edwards, owner
5650 W. Central Ave., Ste. B | 419-725-9767
Since 2013. Ecommerce store also featuring tie dye clothing.
Simply D’Vine Boutique
3606 W. Sylvania Ave. | 567-455-5940 | Simplydvinebtq.com
Christopher and Drake Bunn, owners
3111 Sylvania Ave. | 419-290-4105 | 419-480-7884 toledopeapparel.com
A Toledo clothing brand for everyone to wear to feel dope in.
Ayaiya LLC MBAC
Jamés Etim, Lead Designer
419-266-4035 | Ayaiya.com | James.firstname.lastname@example.org
Since 2016. Creating accessible and contemporary African fashion.
Autumn Gineen Atelier
1811 Adams St. | 567-318-2248 | autumngineen.com
419-503-0620 | Edentailoring.com
The House Of PLWbrand MBAC
Vashti K Coleman, owner
567-225-7593 | facebook.com/prettylittleweird
Since 2015. Creative directing, and content development.
Ollie Nicole Clothing
419-392-2524 | email@example.com | Ollienicolestore.com
Spiritual Sportswear by Sunshine
Dawn Polk, owner
My business is designed to unite, encourage and inspire women across America! I handcraft and design unique, high-quality Christian sportswear for women that will catch your eye and spark conversation about truth while looking pretty.
Afi Hemmings, owner
419-318-8911 | @customtreatz on Facebook and Instagram.
Since 2012. Unique handmade jewelry and cellphone case design.
A Byrd’s Eye Photography
Owner Amber Miller Byrd
3613 Monroe St. | 567-343-2886 | abyrdseyephoto.com
Ariel Ellis Digital Solutions
419-482-8072 | arielellisdigitalsolutions.com
Best Choice Insurance LLC MBAC
Imari Osby, owner
Since 2018. Independent insurance broker.
Blue Force Mobile Training Team MBAC
Marvin Whitfield, owner
P.O. Box 422 Perrysburg, Ohio, 43552.
434-466-1287 | blueforcemobiletrainingteam.com
Since 2009. Safety, leadership, diversity, inclusion, and implicit bias management training.
Valerie Thompson, owner
419.304-0083 | leapgraphics.com
Graphic Design and Marketing Firm
Live 4 Change, LLC MBAC
Dr. E. Michelle Mickens, owner
Live4changellc.com | 614-349-6864 firstname.lastname@example.org
Since 2016. Strategic leadership development consultancy.
Lladheena Shabazz MBAC
Manager with Legalshield.
Since 1972. Access to United States and Canadian law firms on a subscription basis.
Matching Peace MBAC
Kelley Webb, owner
PO Box 605 Maumee, OH 43537 | 419-266-7474 matchingpeace.org
Since 2018. Mentoring and small business equity and inclusion training.
NylaRay Optimistically Bold MBAC
Dena Walker Williams, owner
427 W Dussel Dr., Suite 210, Maumee | nylaray.com
Since 2005. Coaching, companion care and technical writing services.
The Social Butterfly, LLC
419-367-9765. | Thesocialbutterflyllc.com
Small business marketing and promotions and event host.
Toledo Urban Federal Credit Union
1441 Dorr St. | 419-255-8876 | Toledourban.net
Charlotte’s Web Activity Center
5319 W. Bancroft St., in Reynolds Corners
419-725-1336 | charlottes-web-activity-center.hub.biz
3304 Collingwood Blvd. | 419-244-0620
Full-service catering and banquet hall.
Distinguished Affairs Event Planning
567-318-3161 | distinguishedaffairsplanning.com
First Comes Love Bridal & Weddings MBAC
Shunda Collins, owner
419-250-0108 | Firstcomesloveweddings.com
Since 2016. Wedding planning.
L’Ambiance Banquet Hall
5237 Renwyck Dr. | 419-519-9592 | Lambiancebh.com
Par Excel Events, LLC MBAC
Brenda Pasker-Duhart, Owner
567-218-3001 | Parexcelevents.com
@parexcelevents on Instagram.
Since 2012. Certified Wedding and Event Planning service.
419-509-1139 | facebook.com/trazonscreationsllc
Serving and Supporting
Making opportunities accessible
Between 2007 and 2012, the number of Black-owned businesses in the United States increased by 34.5 percent. While positive trends continue, Black entrepreneurs owned only 2 percent of U.S. companies in 2014 despite African-Americans making up only 12 percent of the nation’s total population. What’s going on?
Issues of capital
Less than 1 percent of venture capital funding goes to African-American business founders, with only 0.2 percent going towards startups founded by Black women. In 2018, Guidant Financial surveyed black entrepreneurs about their challenges and funding issues were identified as a primary obstacle. Eighty percent said lack of capital was the most challenging aspect of running a business— when it comes to funding, 70 percent of the entrepreneurs surveyed used their own cash, 23 percent received help from friends and family, and 11 percent used their 401(k) to finance their business.
Despite these challenges, Black business is continuing to increase and programs, conferences and incubators— such as ACT House, Backstage Capital, and InvesU App— are working to combat issues of funding by providing much needed support.
Locally, The University of Toledo’s Minority Business Development Center (MBDC), which houses the Minority Business Assistance Center (MBAC) Program within its office complex, serve the needs of Black business owners in Northwest Ohio by providing critical business services at no cost.
In 2017, the businesses and entrepreneurs that used the MBDC generated more than $19 million in sales and created 138 jobs. On the heels of this success, the MBDC is planning a major expansion that will allow the program to help even more people.
Widening the net
As of January 2019, MBDC founder and executive director Dr. Shanda Gore has secured a $400,000 grant through the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency to establish the Global Virtual Business Center (GVBC), a 24-hour online resource which is expected to launch the next few months. The website will expand the mission of the MBDC, widening the net of who they can help, by offering the same resources through a digital platform.
“We’re really trying to fill a niche that hasn’t been out there,” says Gore. “The Department of Commerce sees the need and has shown support for the program. We felt like we needed to reach customers where they’re at— beyond the 8am to 5pm schedule. To work globally, you have to be able to work in more than one location.”
To learn more about the Minority Business Development Center, the upcoming Global Virtual Business Center, and how to obtain a minority-owned business certification, visit utoledo.edu/incubator/mbac
Since February 1st, lifelong Toledoan Cecil Holston II, a therapist at RFS Behavioral Health, has patronized at least one Black-owned businesses each day. While he originally planned for the challenge— dubbed the #28to365challenge on social media— to last through the end of February, he has since decided to continue through the end of the year.
“I wanted to celebrate Black History month in a more supportive way, rather than talking about history, trying to create history,” explains Holston. “I want to challenge myself to support Black-owned business and bring awareness to businesses that many are unaware of and therefore don’t support.”
As word about the #28to365challenge spread, so did support. Other Toledoans have joined the challenge and businesses Holston has supported on social media have thanked him for increased exposure and sales.
To join the challenge, or to follow Holston’s journey, search the hashtag #28to365challenge on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Myths/ Facts/ Challenges Of African American Business Owners
Provided by the Minority Business Assistance Center (MBAC)
MYTH #1: You have to hire an attorney to start a business.
Although legal guidance is helpful, to begin a small business typically just complete paperwork and pay a small filing fee. In Ohio, the cost is $99 to form an LLC.
MYTH #2: You have to spend “big bucks” and hire numerous professionals to get started. Some entrepreneurs have multiple talents which may include marketing, operations, accounting/finance, etc. A small business person can engage a “board of advisers” for general help and ideas. The owner may later contract with these individuals when business needs become more complex and the Minority Business Assistance Center is here to help.
MYTH #3: A business plan costs thousands of dollars. The Minority Business Assistance Center in Toledo provides help with a no cost solution for business startups and business plans.
MYTH #4: Hiring a business consultant will be too much to even consider. This type of expertise can be valuable to help a business launch appropriately. However, there are many sources for free business consulting and advising. The MBAC can help get you started and give free advice to help grow yours business.
MYTH #5: Finding a space to do business outside of my home is too big of a step when I start. Many businesses start at home. When it’s time to get out of the house, places like UT’s Minority Business Development Center can be a perfect solution. This program provides a complete package a business office, wrap around services and business coaching. You may also look at office sharing with complementary businesses. A commercial real estate professional can also help assess your needs.
MYTH #6: You have to have an 800 credit score to get financing. The fact is that you should have a relationship with a bank or financial institution to help you through the process. Additionally, there are special programs and organizations that offer more non-traditional loan sourcing. In the Toledo area, The Financial Opportunity Centers help business owners understand, take advantage of and give clients strategies to increase their credit worthiness.
MYTH #7: You have to pay to be certified as an Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) and the certification is hard to obtain. While some organizations do charge to participate and be certified for their corporate participation programs, the State of Ohio MBE certification has no charge and is accepted by a number of private entities. The MBE program seeks to expand options for state purchasing by encouraging MBE-certified businesses, both small and large, to do business with the state and the processing time to obtain the certification has been greatly reduced. State agencies are directed to source a portion of their goods and services from MBE-certified vendors. The state also provides a wide range of business development resources. The Toledo MBAC office can help you apply.