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Increased support for local black-owned businesses

Fox 4 speaking with owner of Fly Food's restaurant
Posted at 10:43 PM, Jun 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-20 22:43:06-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Black-owned businesses seeing an increase in sales, as communities come together in support of equality.

Fox 4 spoke with a local restaurant owner about economic empowerment.

Fly Food’s restaurant in Fort Myers opened just under a year ago, but for owner Tiffani Blanks this dream has been generations in the making.

“My grandma got by by cooking, selling plates here in Fort Myers, cooking it’s just in the family, ” said Blanks.

In closing the racial wealth gap movements have been started to support black-owned businesses.

“Every day I’m seeing at least 10-20 new faces, ” said Tiffani Blanks.

With the influx of customers, wait times are now upwards to an hour and a half.

“It’s a home-cooked meal, it’s worth the wait, ” said Martaviz Davison.

Professor of Finance at Florida Gulf Coast University, Tom Smythe reminds customers to be patient.

“Allow for them to work through some of the process discomforts to be able to run that business somewhat more effectively given the new volume, ” said Smythe.

Many small businesses have suffered huge losses through the pandemic, community support offers relief to some business owners.

“It’s already hard for our culture to succeed in anything, its a hard business, ” said Tiffani Blanks.

Economic empowerment is about sustaining wealth within the community.

“It creates additional wealth which can then be reinvested into businesses, ” said Tom Smythe.

“We’ve got to try and support our own people in the neighborhood to keep it going, ” said Angela Brown.

Owner Tiffani Blanks is now working to expand her reach, welcoming customers from all over Southwest Florida.

“You have to network on other grounds to let people outside of your community find out that you are here, and you actually have good food, ” said Blanks.