Rowan Chamber’s second annual “Minority Business Trade Show” builds off of the first one

Published 12:10 am Saturday, April 27, 2024

SALISBURY — On Thursday, the Rowan Chamber of Commerce held their second annual “Minority Business Trade Show” at the Livingstone College Hospitality Center that had over 50 small businesses set up booths to share with others all that they do for the county and other neighboring areas.

“Highlighting and focusing on all of the locally owned, women owned, minority owned businesses in our community was really well received last year, “Rowan Chamber of Commerce President Elaine Spalding said. “It’s been a great way for people to find out about all these wonderful businesses in our community.” 

For any small businesses seeking funds, Salisbury Mayor Karen Alexander announced at the beginning of the trade show the official launch of the chamber’s Small Business Assistance Grant pilot program, where individuals can apply to be awarded a portion of $30,000 for certain enhancements to their business. The deadline for submissions is May 31. 

Special Assistant to the President for Community Development Pete Teague was at the trade show representing Livingstone College and he said he was proud it could play a role in organizing the show. 

“It’s not that it couldn’t happen without us, but I believe it’s very appropriate for us to host it because of the nature of it and for us to be involved in it. I think it goes along with our mission and I think it’s good for us to be seen as supportive and active and we want to be,” Teague said. 

Octavia Arthur with Arthur Realty, a Charlotte-based brokerage firm, represents East Spencer as their listing agent and she said this was her first time being at the trade show.

“I’m glad to be a part of it,” Arthur said. “It shows that we can come out, that we can have successful events, we can get our name out there, and connect with the community.”

Also at the show was Stephanie Huntley, the owner of Stephanie Huntley Accessories who sells wedding jewelry to customers without having a brick and mortar store. Being new to Salisbury, Huntley adores having the opportunity to get better acquainted to the area and she credits the show as being a huge benefit to her and her business. 

“It is very different from anything that I have ever experienced before because, understand again, I’m used to doing bridal shows, so it has a little bit of a different feel, but customers are customers,” Huntley said. “I love it!”

One of the businesses that returned to the trade show after attending in 2023 was Angelique Singleton of Ang’s Fancy Sweet Treats. In the past year, she said her business has “actually flourished a little more than it did before.” 

“I did get a lot of phone calls actually from coming to this event, so it’s been amazing,” Singleton said. “There’s a lot more people here than last year, it’s packed in here today. All my business cards are gone.”