Groups partner to reopen Black-owned businesses damaged during protests

Reopening Black Owned Businesses
Wes Williams, owner of BurgerIM (left); Coffney Johnson, owner of Coffney M Salon (top right); and Princess Pope, owner of Guns & Roses Boutique. – Photo courtesy of DBCC

 

Special to The Dallas Examiner

 

The Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce has partnered with one of its members, First United Bank, to support Black entrepreneurs dealing with damage to their businesses that occurred during the protest on May 29.

Since 1926 the DBCC has been advocating for the creation, growth, and general welfare of Black businesses and has committed to continuing to further that mission.

Following the unjust killing of a Black Minneapolis man named George Floyd, the nation is in an uproar. Communities across the country have taken to the streets to protest police brutality, including citizens of Dallas. During the protest, businesses were damaged, including three Black businesses.

Coffney M Salon is one of the very few Black businesses located in Deep Ellum. Owner Coffney Johnson has been a hairstylist for over 25 years, dedicating her craft to help guide and uplift her clients and fellow stylist. She is optimistic about the re-opening of the salon.

Wes Williams, owner of BurgerIM, is one of the only Black-owned restaurants/bars in Dallas’ historic West End. He had been in business for more than a year before the COVID-19 crisis caused business activity to slow down.

Princess Pope, the owner of Guns & Roses Boutique, suffered the worst damages, losing more than 90% of her new inventory and losing all her windows after successfully being in business in the Deep Ellum area for more than eight years.

“First United Bank has been instrumental in helping the Black-owned businesses the Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce sent during COVID-19 and now is no different. We appreciate their support to businesses in our communities across North Texas,” said DBCC President Harrison Blair.

“As the nation moves through this critical moment in history, we ask that our communities come together to help rebuild our businesses. The Dallas Black Chamber is committed to being a valuable resource and frontline advocate for our North Texas Black businesses.”

Through the partnership, each business received a donation between $2,500 and $5,000.

Terrance Sauls, the business development officer with First United Bank, is committed to helping the DBCC serve its mission.

“I believe in the vision of the Dallas Black Chamber and their message for continued growth in our community and Black businesses. The DBCC’s mission, together with First United’s Devotion to our four pillars, will enact unshakeable change in the communities we serve.”

On Wednesday, the chamber led a group of volunteers to help clean up the businesses. All three groups have GoFundMe pages to help fund their recovery.

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