Village Viewpoint

BAPA was recently part of an event celebrating our local Black-owned businesses. A meet-and-greet networking event was held at Afro Joe’s on 99th Street. It was a first-time event which means you never can tell how many people with show up or how it will go. Well, it was amazing! When I walked in, there was a crowd of over 50 Black business owners chatting and connecting with new people. I was thrilled to see many people who I have known for years and get the chance to meet many business owners who are brand new to our community.  I was so excited for the Beverly/Morgan Park community. 

We have health and fitness, food and beverage, professional services, real estate, nutrition, arts and music, retail, beauty and wellness, fashion, and interior design businesses all within our neighborhood and Black-owned. I feel tremendously lucky and proud to live here with such a diverse small business community. 

This month is Black Business Month. I hope you will take the time to visit some of our black-owned businesses and thank them for contributing to our local small business economy. Please read more about this collaboration and plans for celebrating Black Business Month in this issue of The Villager. 

A thriving small business community is crucial for overall community success. If you love where you live, I encourage you to welcome, thank, encourage, and support our small businesses, this month and always.  

August is also a time of big transition from summer to back to school. As you prepare for taking your child to preschool, or to a new school, high school for the first time, or go away to college, I wish you all a new year filled with new experiences, new friends, new memories, and new accomplishments. And to our teachers, I wish you all a great year! 

Sincerely,  

Mary Jo  

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