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The landscape of summer artist shows and vending spaces has come to an abrupt stop amid the coronavirus pandemic, and Black artists and entrepreneurs are scrambling to maintain the human and business connectivity typically developed through those seasonal events.

Published in Around the Web

The owners of Ben’s Chili Bowl’s flagship restaurant in northwest D.C. say that despite a glaring reduction in revenue brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, they remain committed to keeping their lone standing eatery afloat.

Sage Ali, who along with his elderly mother Virginia and other family members had expanded their business to seven restaurants at one point, told ABC News that while their small diner on U Street had survived the riots of 1968, they’ve never endured a financial fallout to the extent that the virus has left them to deal with.

Although the family applied for a Paycheck Protection Program loan under the newly crafted federal government-operated stimulus package, they said they’ve been stuck in limbo as lawmakers who passed the $484 billion relief package clashed over how best to spend the funds on other rescue programs.

“I’ll be honest with you, it’s a little bit emotional. To tell Mom we didn’t get that loan, it was hard, seeing her face,” Ali told the news network. “Mom is 86 — a very young, very sharp 86. Mom understands very well the financial situation right now, and she knew how critical that funding was. So, for me to get off the phone and walk into that other room and say, ‘Guys, it didn’t go in,’ that was a very tough moment for me.”

Ali said that after applying for a PPP loan at Citi First of DC, it seemed like bank officials kept coming back for more information.

“We were following the guidelines — go to one bank at a time — but we got left out,” Ali’s wife Vida said, ABC reported. “I was shocked when the money was out.”

Yet the family has committed itself to keeping the U Street location up and running.

“The second it opens up again, we should be going right in,” Sage said of the PPP program.

“You want to be confident. You want to be hopeful,” Ali told ABC. “U Street could never close. We’re telling Mom, we can’t close that location after everything you did to survive. Even if it’s down to five people. Whatever it takes.”

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Published in Around the Web

Meet Lesley Riley, CEO of Mama Biscuit®, the family-friendly, all-natural, gluten-free gourmet baking company. What started as a loving tribute to her grandma’s 127-year old family recipe for mouth-watering southern biscuits to comfortable cobblers has now become a popular must-have with over 60 scrumptious products and 32 items in rotation.

Published in Around the Web

Black and minority students at five school districts in the Washington, D.C. region will be beneficiaries of a $6 million commitment by JPMorgan Chase to help train and equip youth to land well-paying tech jobs.

Published in Around the Web

Three young D.C. entrepreneurs aim to serve some heart-warming hope and hospitality as they open their first venture, The Village Cafe, inside Union Market. Kevon King, Mahammad Mangum and Ryan Williams who met as kids, and bonded at Woodrow Wilson High School, maintained a friendship, and recently agreed to make a change in their career trajectories.

Published in Around the Web

For decades, Ben’s Chili Bowl owner Virginia Ali ate a beef hotdog daily that she slathered with mustard, onions and of course, the restaurant’s famous chili.

But nine years ago, when Ali turned 75 and the doctor told her she was at risk of having a stroke because her cholesterol had shot up to 240, Ali knew she had to change her diet.

Published in Around the Web
Monday, 30 July 2018 19:00

BET Co-Founder Operates Elegant Spa

Walking through the doors of the Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg, Virginia, feels less like checking into a hotel than akin to visiting an old family estate in the countryside. Equestrian touches everywhere allude to the horse country provenance of the region, the lush garden surroundings tucked into the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains entice you to sit for a spell on one of the overstuffed window seats, and the library is stocked with classic books befitting the quaint historic town—or with a chess set and a roaring fire, if you prefer.

Published in Around the Web

When Jake Cumsky-Whitlock decided to open Solid State Books he knew he wanted a store that could serve as a third space that would intellectually feed the District’s book ravenous crowd but he also knew that he wanted it to be in a community that was diverse enough to encompass the changing face of the city and it’s longtime residents.

Published in Around the Web
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It’s proven through entrepreneurship, that anyone can succeed without ever owning a prior business or having any additional background or skill set to support an initial dream. You can start with extremely humble beginnings, but with a strong passion to work for yourself, you can create your own path.

Published in Around the Web

Southwest D.C. just got a little sweeter, with the opening of a brand new soda pop shop right in the heart of the District’s beloved Wharf.

Initially a father’s dream, the “Southwest Soda Pop Shop,” run by four dynamic young Black sistas (literally), made its official debut in early May, on the 1100 block of Maine Ave. and is already getting rave reviews from customers and fellow business owners alike, for the store front’s unique savvy sweetness.

Published in Around the Web
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