BELOIT—The organization, Black Women in Business Beloit, are planning to highlight local businesses for the second year in a row at an upcoming business expo.
The Gemini Black Business Expo is set for noon—6 p.m. Saturday at the Eclipse Center, 3 Eclipse Center.
There is a $1 fee for the public to go to the event and check out the over 50 businesses that will be on location.
“The event is $1 to get in and that’s simply to make sure that our charity, Doris Wiles Center of Hope After-School Program, receives funds to help with whatever the students may need,” said Vickie Lynn, Gemini Black Business Expo organizer. “They’ve been my chosen charity since the very first expo. Adriana Sanders and the others do great work with children over there.”
Lynn said Saturday’s expo is the second Gemini Black Business Expo, but it is her sixth expo overall.
“We have an event in February just for Black women, Black Herstory Day as we’ve dubbed it. It’s the second Saturday of every February and we’ve been doing that one since 2019,” Lynn said.
The Gemini Black Business Expo is a new event that stemmed from the popularity of the Black Women in Business expo.
“The GBBE came about because fellas let me know that they wanted to be involved after a few successful years for the women,” Lynn noted.
The event will showcase 50 to 65 local businesses who will be selling and showcasing their products while also networking with other businesses.
Lynn stresses that this event is open to all members of the community.
“I’ve run into a few problems with people thinking because it says, ‘Black’ Business, that this now huge event is only for certain members of the community. That’s just not true,” Lynn noted. “It’s like any other cultural festival or event. We want the entire community to immerse themselves in our culture for a day to not only support, but learn more about what other options are available for them to fall in love with.”
Emmett Cannon, a comedian, will be hosting the event along with several speakers.
Paquita Purnell-Reddish, owner of Blessed Divine Creations and member of Black Women in Business Beloit, will be running a fashion show at the expo.
“Several local clothing businesses including Monarch Ambitions, 21 Roses and many others will show off their spring clothing,” Purnell-Reddish said.
There are still some spots available for businesses interested in the event.
“We only have a few spaces available at this time so they want to email us as soon as possible at email@example.com,” Lynn noted. We also have sponsorship and partnership opportunities available for businesses big or small, black or otherwise.”
Black Women in Business Beloit encourages people to chase their dreams.
“Since starting the expos, I’ve met and become aware of close to 350 Black owned businesses and business owners and we’re inspiring people all the time to go for their dreams,” Lynn said