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Rochester NAACP hosts banquet celebrating Black businesses Nov. 19

The event, on Saturday, Nov. 19 at the Rochester Art Center, will feature Black business owners, including learning about businesses in Rochester and meeting owners at the event.

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ROCHESTER — In celebration of Black businesses, the Rochester branch of the NAACP is hosting a freedom fund banquet and fundraiser.

The event, on Saturday, Nov. 19 at the Rochester Art Center, will feature Black business owners, including learning about businesses in Rochester and meeting owners at the event. The branch will also be awarding the inaugural Black business awards at the event, including the Black Owned Business Entrepreneur of the Year Award and the Black Owned Business Community Service Award.

“We are excited for the chance to re-engage our community at the banquet; we are especially excited to showcase and recognize Black businesses in our community,” Wale Elegbede, Rochester NAACP branch president, said in a news release announcing the event.

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In highlighting the importance of economic equity becoming a reality for all, the event's keynote speaker is Harold T. Epps, a long-time corporate and municipal executive who promotes small businesses, entrepreneurs and economic and workforce development. He has worked with private and public sectors, such as advancing and elevating small businesses and major corporations in the Philadelphia community.

“We look forward to the message that Harold Epps will bring to our Black business owners and the greater Rochester community. His decades-long engagement with businesses, particularly small businesses, is a great match for our celebration," W.C. Jordan, NAACP State Conference president, and long-time friend of Epps, said in the news release.

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The fundraiser supports the work of the NAACP and the history of fighting for freedom. Tickets for the 5-8:30 p.m. event are available on the NAACP Rochester website at naacprochestermn.org.

To have your business recognized and acknowledged at the Freedom Fund event, owners can email Elegbede at welegbede@gmail.com.

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