Gem City Black Business Month: Activities across Dayton leading to ‘The Hop’ this weekend

Juanita Darden, founder and owner of Third Perk Coffeehouse & Wine Bar, is planning to open a fourth shop in Beavercreek. STAFF

Credit: Staff

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Juanita Darden, founder and owner of Third Perk Coffeehouse & Wine Bar, is planning to open a fourth shop in Beavercreek. STAFF

Credit: Staff

The first-ever Gem City Black Business Month is an opportunity to explore and support many of Dayton’s local, Black-owned businesses while winning prizes along the way.

As part of this new August event, the Downtown Dayton Partnership is hosting the “Downtown Dayton Black Business Hop” Saturday, Aug. 14 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The DDP partnered with the Greater West Dayton Incubator and Dayton Young Black Professionals to organize the lineup of programs and events.

Established in 2004 by historian John William Templeton and engineer Frederick E. Jordan, Sr., National Black Business Month was created to “drive the policy agenda affecting the 2.6 million African-American businesses” according to the National Black Business Month website.

Participants are invited to begin the Hop tour with coffee from Third Perk, located at 146 E. Third St., to get energized before a day filled with exploring downtown’s Black-owned shops, studios, salons, restaurants, cafes and more. An “after party” is planned to take place at 1Eleven Flavor House, located at 111 W First St. in Dayton, at 3 p.m.

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“The event aims to build awareness of downtown’s Black-owned businesses, to encourage participants to engage with them, and to generate new customers and support for Black business. Purchases as businesses are not required to participate in the raffle, but strongly encouraged,” according to a release from DDP.

To follow along on Saturday, people can download the free Roamli app and search for the “Downtown Black Business Hop” event. Then, participants will be able to see all locations where they can check in by taking a photo at the stop.

Each check in earns the participant an entry to the raffle drawing at the closing of the Hop, which is scheduled for 3:15 p.m. at 1Eleven Flavor House. Winners don’t need to be present to qualify if they are chosen in the drawing.

A free concert and vendor event will take place at RiverScape MetroPark following the Hop. The second annual “For Dayton By Dayton 2021 event” features more than a dozen local artists and vendors.

If you can’t get downtown on Saturday, you are still able to download the map that showcases all of downtown Dayton’s Black-owned businesses. You can create your own walking tour to shop, drink and dine throughout the entire month of August and beyond.

“With a host of community partners and Black business owners coming together to host 13 events, the aspiration to establish Gem City Black Business Month as an annual priority is readily present. Thank you to our many partners that made this vision a reality,” read a statement from the Greater West Dayton Incubator.

In addition to the Hop on Saturday, events are planned throughout the entire month, including a Black Men in Business event, networking mixers, guided community conversations, a “Brews & Black Entrepreneurs” event, pitch competitions and more.

There is also a month-long Black Business Bingo contest with chances to win prizes of up to $100. To register to receive a Bingo card, see participating businesses, and check out the entire lineup of National Black Business Month activities, visit nbbmdayton.com.

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