Mr. G’s Banquet Hall, 1547 W. 87th St.

Pamela Cotten

“I have a business with my three sisters called Urban Comfort and I supply business for minority-owned businesses. Sometimes it is difficult to get necessary funding to keep the businesses going, for example, [federal business programs] or even city programs. So in order to keep businesses running we need our own people to support us like other groups support their own.”

James M. Childs Jr.

“It’s very important to patronize black business commerce. Any people who do not have control of their own commerce are domed to the control of others. It’s just a fundamental aspect of life. That is why no other group of people will allow people outside the group to come into their community and just sell them all kinds of stuff – except us. You have to look at it from this standpoint: if you control your life, you control your commerce. If you control how money flows … you can control jobs; you can control all the aspects that make life prosperous and profitable.

Karen Bozeman-Gross

“The most important thing is to understand how the dollar flows. And with us patronizing black businesses, that allows the business to be able to hire employees. They hire employees and they circulate money back into the community. What causes our community to fail is when the dollar tends to leave our community. People that don’t live in the community spend their money elsewhere. Having been a business person, I sold jewelry, accessories, dresses and all kinds of tangible items. I know for sure that, as much as humanly possible, we must trade with ourselves.”

James Gross

“It is important for our survival as a race of people. I’ve had the good fortune to live outside the USA over 40 years ago. I taught school in Venezuela. I was in the Peace Core from 1967 to ’69. As a little old country boy from Memphis Tenn., I grew up chopping cotton in total segregation. So I saw black businesses and how they traded and bartered with each other. We not only have to take care of the people in America, but the people outside of America who are looking for us to lead them; the black folks in Brazil, South Africa and all over.”

Gaston Armour

“The question is how important is it for blacks to patronize black businesses? The answer is, emphatically yes. Because, when you patronize local businesses the jobs are in the community instead of driving out dollars elsewhere. So, the money turns over and stays in the community, and the community prospers – I call that community resilience. And we have to change the thinking of college-age teenagers, even those 20-something, 30-something, because they don’t know the importance of owning your own business. My dad had a small grocery store, Armour Certified, on the South Side for almost 50 years. I knew as a kid growing up what the importance of having your own business means – you control a lot of dollars.

Frank Logan

“We need to support each other because we can only survive if we support one another. Black people spend their money with other people, watching them spending it with their own. So we need to support and protect our own businesses.”