Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Minority-owned businesses are growing in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, but many of them are facing challenges such as access to working capital and finding more customers according to local business experts.

Building a market

Antonio McCoy, the president and chief executive officer of the Piedmont Black Chamber of Commerce encourages minority-owned businesses to expand their markets and customers by selling their products and services online.

They should also try to recreate a black business district in Winston-Salem, where black residents will spend and invest more of their money just like the Hispanics and white business owners have their markets.

Gloria Gatling of Gatling Realty Inc. of Winston-Salem attributed her success to her strong code of ethics. She listens to her clients’ needs and desires and together they put a plan that fits closest to their desired requirements.

Business development programs

Most minority-owned businesses also lack awareness about government programs, such as the ones administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The U.S. SBA business development programs for minority-owned businesses provide counseling and training workshops as well as management and technical guidance, according to a SBA document.

“Minority business owners also face professional development obstacles and access to the right kinds of advisers and mentors according to Reginald McCaskill, the president of the Triad Minority and Women’s Business Expo.

City’s role

Minority and women-owned business are growing partly because the city of Winston-Salem spends money to acquire their services, said Tiesha Hinton, the city’s assistant director of business inclusion and advancement. She encouraged all businesses interested in doing business with the city to register with its vendor directory.

“Overall, minority entrepreneurs are doing much better than before as a community, and I am confident that the future will be much stronger,” Notis Pagiavlas, a professor of marketing at Winston-Salem State University said.