Promising future for black-owned businesses in Charlotte

Promising future for black-owned businesses in Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Black-owned businesses are opening up in West Charlotte.

One is historic. It is called Lucky Spot Barbershop. It opened inside Walmart on Wilkinson Blvd. It is the first Black owned barbershop ever to open in a Walmart.

Shaun Corbett owns the shop. He says he always wondered why Walmart didn’t have a barbershop inside the store. Corbett approached management and worked on a deal for two years. He says he wants the barbershop to be called a community barbershop.

“The barbershop has always been the cornerstone of the community,” Corbett said. “Anything you needed to know from your gossips - to financial tips or whatever we talk about in the barbershop.”

Walmart says this partnership is not about dollars and cents, but more about connecting with the community. Walmart believes there will be a return on their investment.

“Letting our community know that we care,” Wilkinson Blvd Co-Manager April Fowler said. “It’s not all about dollar signs. It’s always not about the sales - but having a good relationship.”

Fowler says they are getting a good response from other stores about this new business venture.

Corbett wants to take this community barbershop nationwide. He says if people want to set up a barbershop in other Walmart, they will come to him to for training and learn about Lucky Spot Barbershop and its mission. Corbett envisions in the next five to 10 years, his type of community barbershops will pop up all over Walmart. He believes community barbershop makes the difference.

“You’ll get the tutoring,” Corbett said. “You get the turkey drives. You get the book-bag drives. You get the coat drives. You’ll get building relationships with law enforcement - that’s what that stands for so everywhere you see a Lucky Spot - you’ll get the same thing.”

Fowler believes this partnership helping a black-owned business will help address economic mobility issues in Charlotte. She also believes the community barbershop could be a motivating factor for many.

"It brings hope to the future children," Fowler said. "It brings hope to the community that great things can happen here."

Another black-owned business that opened recently is Good Life at Enderly Park. It is located on Freedom Drive. Two business partners thought of an idea and decided it was time for them to open up a business together.

“We really wanted to control our destiny,” Good Life at Enderly Park Co-Owner Michael Ann Gosby said. “And definitely give something to Charlotte that they just had not seen.”

The business consists of a flower shop, space to host weddings and parties, and it’s also a place where vendors can offer their goods. Gosby says opening a business is challenging but worth it when you know when the timing is right.

“Just getting to the place where you can really believe that you can get the funding that you need,” Grosby said. “Being disciplined when you are actually granted funding - being sure of what you want to do.”

The Black Charlotte Chamber says it is ready to assist businesses to succeed. It is estimated there are thousands of black-owned businesses in the Charlotte area and many believe more will open up as the area grows. Corbett and Gosby encourage people to have an entrepreneurial spirit and offer something that will help the community.

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