x
Breaking News
More () »

WQAD.com

Here's how you can support Black owned businesses in the Quad Cities

"Nine times out of ten the things that you’re the best at you can also turn into a business."

DAVENPORT, Iowa — Zay Creative’s has been open for nearly a year and a half here in the Quad Cities, and it’s just getting bigger. Head designer and CEO of the clothing company Isaiah Williams started out of his home. Now he’s working in North Park Mall. Williams saying, “I had never planned to be in the mall, but the opportunity presented itself and I was ready.”

William’s is a one man operation for now. He’s hoping to grow his business and bring on more people. The young entrepreneur is using his clothing and creativity to highlight why representation is so important. “It’s just nice to be able to see kids have an appreciation for somebody that looks like them.”

Minority business owners make up 32 percent of the U.S. population, but only 18 percent of business owners. Williams saying, “In order to uplift our communities we need to uplift our businesses because that revenue being made is going back into the community.”

The Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce is now partnering with the Small Business Development Centers on both sides of the river to increase opportunities for black owned businesses. Julie Forsythe works with the Chamber saying, “It will allow them to higher advisors to do minority business outreach and advising specifically. So it’s added capacity and it will really fill a gap in this particular area.”

The Chamber also offers grants specifically for minority owned businesses. Forsythe saying, “We want to make sure all businesses thrive and all businesses have the opportunity to understand and be connected to resources that can help grow their business.”

Williams pointing to the ways he thinks are the best and easiest ways to show support for Black owned businesses saying, “If you can’t financially support then always share, share, share on social media. Word of mouth is a big one.”

He hopes that his journey can teach the next generation of business owners a lesson. “Kids come up to me all the time and are like how did you do it and it’s just amazing being able to see people be inspired by things that I do and it’s amazing to give back to my community. I feel it’s my obligation.”