Mega Ace Media and the Leon County Office of Economic Vitality are hosting the second annual Black Business Expo at noon on Feb. 25 at The Moon.
According to Mega Ace Media owner Vaughn Wilson, last year’s event was a success, with 65 business owners and 40 sponsors in attendance. This year he is expecting additional sponsors and a rapidly increasing number of registered businesses.
“Last year was our first year, and it was better than expected,” Wilson said. “When you start something new like this, you hope it goes well and other people see what you’re trying to do. It was accepted very, very well.”
In addition to sponsors and small business owners, city and county representatives will be at the event. Wilson said Mayor John Dailey, Leon County Commission Chairman Nick Maddox, and representatives from the different chambers of commerce will be present.
Local business owners can forge new business partnerships with different organizations and companies in Tallahassee. Deputy director of the OEV, Darryl Jones, said that these new business relationships are similar to gaining tools they will need to grow their business and ultimately create more jobs for the local economy.
“The Office of Economic Vitality is devoted to economic inclusion in the local economy, and in doing so, it means that our office stands ready to identify minority and women-owned businesses and the resources that they need to help their businesses to grow and expand,”
Jones said. “[Business owners] can look forward to having resources available to them all in one space, who are devoted and committed to making important linkages with other business owners, where they can help one another to grow.”
Jay Morrell, the owner of the local restaurant Earley’s Kitchen, said that last year’s expo provided a wealth of knowledge, and he gained information ranging from technology to financing. He was also one of several business owners who won a $500 grant at the event.
Small business owners can expect to learn something there,” Morrell said. “I can definitely tell you that I learned something new, and I plan on attending every year that they have it in Tallahassee. You’ll make great contacts, and you’ll get rejuvenated and be ready to go back and hit your business hard.”
Jones added: “This worthwhile endeavor is going to change the projection of countless businesses in our community. We’re grateful for Vaughn Wilson’s innovation and his commitment to facilitating the growth of other business owners and the local market. Like a true Rattler and FAMU SBI grad, Vaughn knows what it takes for a business to succeed. Subsequently, he is using tools, resources, and partners like the OEV to make sure that that growth occurs for other business owners that look like him in our local economy.”