Minority Business Council seeks to inspire members before holidays

Published 12:03 am Wednesday, December 21, 2022

SALISBURY — The speaker at Tuesday’s Minority Business Council had a simple question for those gathered: are they working to get rich, or is there a higher purpose?

The group, co-sponsored by the city of Salisbury and the Rowan County Chamber of Commerce, held its virtual monthly meeting  and continues to work toward its goal, which is “to help minority businesses grow and prosper in our community.”

People who were on the call included local business owners, some of the staff of Livingstone College and Salisbury City Council member David Post.

Each meeting has a guest speaker to share stories and give advice to local minority business owners. This month Gina Esquivel, from the Lee Institute and American Leadership Forum, spoke to the council.She is from Costa Rica and has a background in social services. Through her years working in this field, she became motivated to do more for everyone in her community.

“Understanding as an entrepreneur, I think one of the biggest points for me were you have to know your stuff. You have to know where you come from, you have to know where you’re heading, you have to have a lot of mirror conversations,” she said. “What are you doing? Why are you doing it? What’s driving you there?”

Esquivel called on group members to think about what inspires them. She also stressed that where they come from gives them a distinctive advantage in what they wish to accomplish.

“In the minority-owned business community, it comes with a package of resilience and grit that is beyond profit. It’s purposeful. So my question back to you all is, ‘Why do you do what you do? Do you do it because you want to get rich? Or you do it because there’s another reason, another thing that comes to you?’”

Carl Brown is a culinary instructor at Livingstone College and a part of Chef Solutions LLC.

He listened to the presentation and took away many applicable points.

“What I enjoyed most was really relevant to my field in food service, is stick to what you know in some aspects and that whole piece about being ready. You waste a lot of time trying to get ready for things and a lot of times it’s overkill, you really don’t even need it. Just be yourself and be authentic. I really needed to hear this right before the holidays,” Brown said.