National Small Business Week recognizes the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners. More than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and they create about two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year. During May 1-6, 2017 I Am Black Business, Inc. sponsored the Urban League of Greater Atlanta Young Professionals as they highlighted and patronized black-owned business owners and entrepreneurs in the metro Atlanta – Patronizing Through Small Business Week.
The week began on Monday, May 1st with the Urban League of Greater Atlanta Young Professionals' May General Body Meeting: 2017-2018 Executive Leadership Team Elections and Small Business Fair. While elections were taking place, small business owners and entrepreneurs who are also members of the Urban League YP organization like us as well as Roy Broderick, Jr. from Intuition Consulting, Chris Jones from SeeJones Creative, Brandon Garrett from My Vision Tools LLC and Adrienne Green from Alabaster Box Boutique were able to directly talk to both members and other business owners about the company and the products or services they can provide.
On Thursday, May 4th, we hosted the YP Small Business Neighborhood Night Out. For those that did not attend the YP Small Biz Blackout last year this is event provides all of the attendees an opportunity to not only socialize, but also patronize one of three black-owned businesses in three different counties. The business owners of Boogalou Restaurant and Lounge in Fulton, Desta Ethiopian Kitchen in DeKalb and The Wine Cellars in Cobb were ecstatic when we approached them about Thursday's collaboration; each business had an average of 32 attendees.
The culmination of the Small Business Week events was on Saturday, May 6th with the YP Black Business Bar Crawl: Kentucky Derby Edition. The bar crawl allowed the attendees the opportunity to patronize black-owned businesses located on Peter Street that they may not have known existed or were actually black-owned. There were also many who had on their Kentucky Derby attire.
The first place on the crawl was Blu Cantina, which is a Latin American Fusion restaurant blending traditional food with a modern aesthetic and atmosphere. We were welcomed by the owner Corrina and her staff of friendly bartenders and waiters/waitresses. Our entire group were given the room in the back where we enjoyed their $5 Gentleman Jack, $5 House Margarita or their $20 wings and Margarita pitcher specials. Take advantage of those wings as they were amazing.
The crawl continued on to The Spinning Pie Atlanta Pizza Lounge, serving the best pizza and wings the city of Atlanta has to offer. As soon as we walked in we felt the vibe of the lounge, which was very energetic. The DJ already set the tone playing Future, while the attendees enjoy 2 for 1 drink and food specials. The Spinning Pie is a great venue to hang out at on a Saturday afternoon.
The bar crawl event ended at 255 Tapas Lounge which is one of Atlanta's hottest venues located in the historic Castleberry Hills district.All of our attendees loved the vibe of the lounge as well as enjoyed their $5 Cosmopolitans and Margaritas. The staff at 255 I believe handled the large crowd very well leaving the attendees satisfied.
We believe that we met the objective we set last year – to expand by increasing the number of businesses and participants. As I Am Black Business and the Urban League of Greater Atlanta Young Professionals continue to collaborate on this event, the sky’s the limit when it comes to how Small Business Week can be in the future.