By Jasmina Alston
ATLANTA, Georgia (WGCL) — Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. and The Village Market are establishing storefronts along the BeltLine for local, Black-owned businesses.
The inaugural program, BeltLine MarketPlace, is part of the BeltLine’s first small business incubator, according to Atlanta BeltLine, Inc.
Shipping containers and possibly food trucks will be set up along the Westside and Eastside trails for up to six local Black-owned businesses, according to a press release.
News of the program was welcomed by entrepreneurs like Jerard Brown, owner of Mr. Cake Me Happy.
Brown sells his desserts along the busy trail that has nearly two million visitors a year.
“The BeltLine is of course one place I’d love to open my business,” Brown said. “It’s a lot of customers out here, very busy, that’s why I’m out here today.”
According to the BeltLine CEO, the goal of the program is to allow Black-owned legacy, small and local businesses to grow and flourish in the area.
Atlanta BeltlLine, Inc. said, according to studies, that some of the biggest barriers to success for black entrepreneurs are access to things like resources and rising lease prices.
Brown told CBS46 it’s about time for a program like this.
“It’s Atlanta, Georgia…when you think of Atlanta, no matter what race you are, you think Black,” he said. “Because that’s what is thriving down here.”
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