Grand Rapids Small Business Saturday Fair showcases businesses

Held at the Baxter Community Center in Grand Rapids, the expo has attracted more than 100 businesses over the past six years.

GRAND RAPID, MI — For the sixth year, Small Business Saturdays, a black-owned pop-up store, was held at the Baxter Community Center in Grand Rapids.

Attendee Dawn Brown said participating in the Expo meant a lot. Her daughter, Maneeka Beasley, owns a small bakery in West Michigan called Cakes By The Jar.

“When the pandemic hit, we had to figure out a way to sell cakes, so we came up with cakes in tins,” Brown said.

The company, which started out as delicious pound cakes and treats, had to adjust its business plan during the COVID-19 pandemic, switching to single cakes in tins to accommodate gatherings and social distancing.

“For the pandemic to happen, for us to be able to step up and keep our business going, it’s so important, it’s really an amazing thing, they have to keep it going.”

Cakes By the Jar is just one of 15 businesses featured at the Baxter Center.

Business owner Della Marie Levi is one of four organizers of the fair.

“A lot of us don’t have brick-and-mortar stores, so when we come together, we have the opportunity to show the community many businesses in one space at the same time,” said Mary Levy.

She conveyed the impact it has had on businesses and clients that emerge year after year.

“They learned about all the amazing businesses in our community,” Marie Levi said. “Sometimes it’s hard to find merchants when there’s no physical presence, but events like this give us exposure and the opportunity to shop with us, and get our products and services even if they don’t need them right now. business card and information to shop with us in the future.”

Loc Royalty’s Tiesha Hogue, fellow organizer, agrees.

“It’s very important that we intentionally keep our money in our communities, and what better way to demonstrate that with Small Business Saturday,” Hogg said.

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