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MKE Black started as an app, now it provides Black-owned businesses with a space to grow

"It's exciting to know people are coming out to support black business."
Posted at 6:24 PM, Jun 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-26 19:24:01-04

MILWAUKEE — MKE Black hosted its first summer marketplace, an opportunity for Black entrepreneurs to showcase their business.

The event is an extension of the previous food truck block party. Now, vendors are able to sell more than just food.

MKE Black was started as an app to support and showcase the many Black-owned businesses in the area.

That app now has more than 600 business in the area you can look up.

MKE Black Executive Director Rick Banks said he created the MKE Black app, so people can support these businesses.

"When we launched MKE Black the intention was never to have events like this," Banks said. "It was to just have our data base and our mobile app."

Saturday, at Beerline Plaza, several vendors set up to welcome and introduce to the community their business.

Immy's African Cuisine owner Immy Kaggwa said when she was approached about joining, she was excited to be among striving black business owners.

"It's exciting to know people are coming out to support black business," Kaggwa smiled.

She said among the business owners there is a sense of comradery and the need to help one another.

"Seeing other people doing their own thing we try to encourage each other. If we find out information, we pass it on," Kaggwa said.

Banks said that's what it's all about uplifting black business owners and providing a space for them to grow.

"We advocate for the positive things happening in the community so that people know there's a thriving Black community in the city of Milwaukee," Banks said.

You can download the MKE Black app and have access to and support roughly 600 black business within the city.

The next MKE Black Summer Marketplace is set for July 24.

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