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QC Minority Expo creates space for small, online businesses to get more exposure in-person

The local non-profit is renting out a space in NorthPark Mall for local businesses to set up booths and sell their products.

DAVENPORT, Iowa — A local non-profit is making sure small, online businesses get exposure and new customers during the COVID-19 pandemic, by renting out a space in NorthPark Mall. There, business owners can set up booths at an affordable price to sell their products and meet new clients. 

It's part of the Helping Small Businesses Succeed Initiative through the Quad Cities Minority Network. 

"This gives people the opportunity to walk up, see their merchandise and buy it today," Camille Hodges says.

Camille and Dwayne Hodges started the Quad Cities Minority Expo about four years ago, and they've held similar events outdoors before, but now the storefront can allow businesses to reach new people. 

"It's identifiable. NorthParkMall has been here forever and it's one of those places that everyone knows," Dwayne says. "When you tell people you're at NorthPark Mall, you're more apt to come by and see it." 

About 20 businesses will be at the space through the weekend, but this initiative is ongoing. Anyone can reach out to the Quad Cities Minority Expo to rent out a booth to sell their products. 

The initiative is also geared to help businesses who may be struggling during the pandemic. 

"We know COVID-19 hit, but it doesn't have to be something that tears us down," Dwayne says.