By Joi Thomas, Special to the AFRO

Black History Month is an ideal time to support our community businesses.  On Feb. 23 and Feb. 24, Morning Star Baptist Church in Woodlawn, will bring Black business to the forefront with their Black Business Seminar and Expo.  The two-day event will welcome business owners from an array of disciplines including financial management, home improvement, fashion and accessories, health and beauty, and specialty services including childcare and entertainment.

Bishop Dwayne Debnam, Morning Star’s pastor envisioned an event where the church could help promote and support Black business.  “This event is designed to expose us to the gifts and talents which exists in our communities,” Debnam said.  “Blacks have the skills and abilities to make continued impact as individuals access products and services -one of the keys to their success is exposure and access.”

The team convened in December and has been working diligently ever since to ensure success.  The event has been met with much enthusiasm and anticipation.  To date, 40 businesses have registered for the event, which will be held at the ministry’s outreach center on Feb. 23 and at the Church on Feb. 24.

Black History Month is an ideal time for the church to host its first Black Business Seminar and Expo, according to Dr. Anthony Brown, Director of Marketing at Morning Star. “The church intentionally coordinated a weekend of activities for Black History Month including a family event at Columbia Mall on Friday night and our annual Family and Friends Day on that following Sunday,” Brown said.  “In between those events, the Black Business Seminar and Expo was coordinated as an additional opportunity to celebrate our history and expose the skills and services of minority owned businesses.”

Not only will the expo feature businesses and services, but there will also be learning labs designed for business owners and persons interested in starting a business.  Experts from the areas of financial management, business strategy and marketing and promotions, will facilitate discussions designed to inform, inspire and empower attendees.

There is no fee to attend, however businesses interested in participating must pay a registration fee.   “The church’s hope is that the public will embrace this opportunity to learn more about and ultimately support black businesses,” Brown said.  “The key to business success is having persons use your products and services and Morning Star wants to be a champion for business owners in our congregation and community.”

Morning Star Baptist Church is located at 1512 Woodlawn Drive.  For more information on this expo or to be a vendor contact the church at (410) 747-3417 or go to their website: