Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Black is Beautiful Expo to give platform to Harrisburg-area Black-owned businesses

A vendor at the November “Black is Beautiful Expo”

To celebrate Black History Month, one local entrepreneur is giving the Harrisburg area’s minority-owned businesses a platform to promote themselves.

For the second time, Bradley Wainwright of Urban Revolution Marketing & Branding is holding the “Black is Beautiful Expo” to assist these businesses, many of whom are struggling during COVID.

“A lot of these minority-owned businesses that typically operate on a face-to-face basis haven’t been able to,” Wainwright said. “This expo allows them to.”

On Friday and Saturday, around 30 businesses will set up at the Crown Plaza in downtown Harrisburg to network and sell their products. The event is free to the public.

Speakers include Karl Singleton of the Pennsylvania Diversity Coalition, Dr. Kimeka Campbell of Young Professionals of Color-Greater Harrisburg, Mikell Simpson of Capital Rebirth, and others.

Additionally, Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse and mayoral candidates Dave Schankweiler and Otto Banks will attend. Some candidates for other city government positions will be there, as well.

“We want to show the community they have the support of these different leaders that are running for office,” Wainwright said.

Schankweiler is also a main sponsor of the expo, along with Harrisburg-based law firm McNees, Wallace and Nurick LLC.

“We need to put new and existing business ideas on a fast track to opportunity,” Schankweiler said in a statement. “This Expo is a major step toward highlighting the successful minority-owned businesses right here in Harrisburg.”

At the expo, McNees will announce the winning businesses for its Legal Equity Advancement Program (LEAP), which offers free legal services to Black-owned businesses for a year.

Wainwright expects an even larger turnout at this expo than the first in November. Social distancing, mask-wearing and temperature checks will be enforced, he said.

“I’m excited for the increase in attendees so that these businesses can make more money,” he said. “This is all for our community.”

The “Black is Beautiful Expo” is on Feb. 26, from 6 to 9 p.m. and Feb. 27, from 5 to 8 p.m. For more information or to register, visit their website.

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