COVID-19 Delays Grand Opening Of New Black Business Market In Atlanta

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A new market in Atlanta dedicated to showcasing Black-owned businesses has delayed its grand opening due to the recent rise in COVID-19 cases

The New Black Wall Street Market –– named after the historic business district in Tulsa, Oklahoma –– was set to open over the Labor Day weekend in DeKalb County, Georgia but has since been pushed back. 

The market’s owner and developer, Lecester “Bill” Allen, made the decision to delay the opening “out of an abundance of caution and concern for public health/safety… due to the proliferation of the COVID-19 Delta variant,” a statement released by the company on Facebook reads.

The new grand opening is scheduled for October 30 and October 31. 

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the market will house 100 Black owned businesses in a 125,000 square foot location. The area’s economic development director Clarence Boone told the newspaper earlier this year he hopes the marketplace will become a “game changer for the city.” 

“This is something that’s been needed for a long time,” Boone said in March. During the delay, the market’s organizers are reportedly getting merchants in place for the opening. 

Black businesses saw a boost in the last year as millions protested against racial oppression and social injustice. For the DeKalb community, Allen said the market is a reflection of the business owners who also live there. 

“We just think in a predominantly African American community, the predominance needs to reflect not just the people who live there but the business ownership as well,” Allen said at the market’s first event in May. 

To learn more about the market or to register as a merchant, click here.

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