Black-owned local businesses find ways to support each other

Local News

HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) — Black History Month is a time to come together and shed light on the historic achievements within the community.

In the Rio Grande Valley, Black-owned businesses are coming together to support one another.

“I’m giving the body the food that it needs most people take vitamins but it’s not the same thing,” said Dr. Esther Akinayomi. She started her business last fall during the pandemic and runs RGVita Infusions, a vitamin hydration service.

“In our system, we have over 150 clients believe it or not,” she said.

She’s one of the many black owned businesses scattered across the RGV.

“I remember people saying ‘there’s no Blacks in the Valley’ so for me living here in the Valley, being Black and starting a business. It’s just more of what it is I’ve not had any problems starting it out,” she said.

She’s part of a growing organization looking to enrich the relationships in the Black community.

“We have a history of not supporting each other and we want to change that,” said Dr. Teresa Gatling.

Through Village In The Valley, Dr. Gatling said they’re helping Black-owned businesses through connection and development.

“Using our platform to showcase and highlight people where they can come in we are also planning on connecting with some of the chambers of commerce,” she said.

They’ve even partnered with H-E-B as part of the “Be The Change Campaign” to help local black businesses.

“I believe from Laredo all the way down to Brownsville where people can donate 1,3, 5 dollars at will,” said Dr. Gatling.

The H-E-B website reads:

“Be the Change builds upon our established Diversity and Inclusion framework driving us to be a better employer, retailer and community partner. To amplify diverse voices, we’re proudly sharing their stories and highlighting their products and services.”

A new way Black owned local businesses are helping each other thrive.

“Talk about their business what they’re doing and how we can help and how people can find them. It’s really important to develop that sense of community and sense of awareness because we are not all in a black area. There isn’t one. We’re spread all over the place so it’s hard to have that community,” said Dr.Gatling.

If you’ll like to donate, all you have to do is shop at H-E-B and donate any amount of money.

The campaign ends March 2.

The money will go towards training for businesses throughout the RGV and expansion efforts.

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