ROANOKE, Va. – As Virginia starts to loosen its COVID-19 restrictions, many businesses are still weathering the economic storm brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
While the impacts hit business owners of all backgrounds, statistics show that Black-owned businesses were impacted the most.
A 2020 study by The National Bureau of Economic Research revealed that the number of African American business owners dropped from 1.1 million in February 2020 to 640,000 in April 2020. This equates to a roughly a decrease of about 440,000, or 41%, in African American business owners.
While there are many Black-owned businesses in the Roanoke Valley for you to support, here are four we wanted to make sure are on your radar:
Darion Boisseau, 26, founded Nedarion in Feb. 2020.
Online, you can buy cold-pressed juices, empowerment resources, detox water and a variety of other wellness products.
Boisseau strives to better the physical and mental well-being of Roanoke community members.
A percentage of the business’ profits go towards Yung Mami, a non-profit organization that aims to offer mothers a support system.
Taylor-Made Cakes and Creations:
If you’re looking for a delicious treat, 13-year-old Taylor Pusha sells fresh cakes right from her own personalized kitchen.
Taylor-Made Cakes and Creations offers a plethora of savory items to choose from such as cakes, cupcakes, cookies, pies and more.
The business has a menu with several different cake flavors, buttercream, pound and cheesecake flavors, filling varieties to suit your tastes.
Even vegan flavors are available.
Taylor is no stranger to the kitchen and even was a Kids Baking Championship Season 7 semi-finalist.
Check out an interview we did with her back in 2019:
She’s International Boutique:
For those who want to make a fashion statement, She’s International Boutique brings international fashion trends right to the Roanoke Valley.
Owner Diana Speaks was a flight attendant for 30 years and has visited 15 countries. She now uses the relationships she made during that career to handpick fashion items from around the world.
Her store offers clothing, jewelry, handbags and accessories. Personal styling appointments are also available.
We talked with Diane a bit about her story in 2020:
Taylor Tutoring Services:
Taylor Tutoring Services strives to address the needs of students who are struggling with their work.
CEO Renea Taylor runs the company that offers programs personalized to address the specific needs of students and help boost academic success, increase confidence and foster independence.
Taylor Tutoring Services offers 1:1 to 1:5 teacher-student ratios. Tutoring services are also available virtually.