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Directory created to help Roanoke minority- and women-owned businesses

ROANOKE, Va. – As more people look for ways to support local businesses, there’s a new initiative that aims to make that easier.

Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce is launching a new directory to highlight minority and women-owned businesses.

“If someone is looking for like a contractor, or a cake maker or whatever, they will have an easier time locating those folks,” Roanoke Regional Chamber President and CEO Joyce Waugh said.

Entrepreneurs who meet these demographics simply fill out the online form at no cost.

Robert Jeffrey Jr., Colors VA Magazine president and city councilmember, said this can help bridge the revenue gap that these type of business owners experience.

“There are great small businesses out there who work everyday who try to make a living in their community,” he said. “And this is an opportunity that we are trying to create for them, additional exposure to help them grow.”

FarmBurguesa Co-owner Kat Pascal agrees.

She said minority business owners miss opportunities because they tend to get overlooked.

“There can be a lot of different variances as to why those businesses are overlooked,” she said. “It can be anywhere between a language barrier to just not knowing who to connect in the community.”

Pascal is also the co-founder of Nuestro Comercio Latino, an organization that spotlights Latino owned businesses in the area.

So when it comes to this new directory, she gives it two thumbs up.

“My hope is that the Roanoke Chamber of Commerce will find grass root organizations and lead this to be a bigger and better operation,” she added.

The online directory will be available on the chamber’s website by March.


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