Owner of mini-mart takes steps to uplift the black community through COVID-19 pandemic

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LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Closures and restrictions from the coronavirus pandemic have deeply impacted small companies, together with these which are black-owned. 8 News Now spoke to the proprietor of a recently-opened mini-mart about the steps she’s taking to assist and uplift the black business community.

“We have a lot of natural care products for your skin, for your hair,” mentioned Ellena Smith, proprietor of Easy Days Drive Thru Mini Mart.

Smith opened Easy Days Drive Thru Mini Mart, positioned on Tropicana and Maryland Parkway in Dec. 2020. On one aspect, the mini-mart has contemporary produce, espresso, and foods and drinks objects.

The different aspect is house to dozens of totally different merchandise from native black-owned companies.

“We thought it would be a good idea to offer them a space where they can have an actual storefront where people can buy their products, learn about their products,” Smith mentioned. “They can build their name at the same time we build ours.”

The Urban Chamber of Commerce says black-owned companies have been hit arduous throughout the pandemic, with many not in a position to fall again on financial savings or borrow funds to keep afloat.

Jo Cato, a board member with the chamber, says having native companies assist one another shall be important shifting ahead.

“If it means that we have to circulate the dollars in our community, that is something that we should be doing, and circulate those dollars to make sure those businesses stay open and are successful,” mentioned Jo Cato, president, and CEO, Periwinkle Group. “I am all for recycling the Black dollars.”

By highlighting merchandise and clothes from black-owned companies, Smith hopes the money shall be put again into the community.

“We can take that money and put it into schools that will help our children as far as education,” Smith mentioned. “We can put it into better healthcare for our people, we can put it into helping us get housing and counseling.”

Smith additionally hopes to build a small kitchen inside the retailer to supply a spot for black-owned meals institutions to prep and promote their objects..

The community may also buy all of the in-store objects of Easy Days Drive Thru Mini Mart on-line and decide them up at the drive-thru window when they’re prepared.