Who doesn’t love an ice cream cone?
I sure do, especially one dipped in chocolate, or my absolute favorite, butterscotch. As the weather warms, we spend more time visiting our favorite hometown custard corner. One of my favorites was right across the street. I miss going to Mr. SB’s for ice cream where my sister and I were greeted with, “How are my favorite little cousins?” Both businesses have long since closed, but the imprint on our community remains. Mr. SB Morgan was a Black business owner of a taxi service and small store with candy, ice cream and much more. His business was his home and it also housed Mr. James Simmons’ barber shop. Mr. SB, as did his brother and sister-in-law, Mr. Burrell and Mrs. Raye Morgan, ran successful Black businesses during segregation and after. They were two of many thriving Black-owned businesses in my home of Christiansburg. Their businesses doubled as community hubs. These were the places we gathered, saw friends and generally enjoyed one another.
Locally owned small businesses are the fabric of any community. Family-owned businesses leave a legacy. This month, ColorsVA wants to highlight small businesses. Our cover features the new executive director of the Botetourt Chamber of Commerce, Khari Ryder. He is a man of vision for the community and one of his focuses will be ensuring the success of minority-owned businesses in Botetourt County. We want you to get to know the mother-daughter duo behind Dazzling Secrets – Nickia Murray and Autum Murray-Burns. Their bond and business are a testament to how the support of family and friends can help a business thrive. And last, styled by Fashionista Roanoke, Sister2Sister boutique owners Rhonda Harvey and Angie Stone, lift women’s spirits with fashion, friendship and prayer.
Each month, the scholar we highlight always gives me such hope for our future and this month is no exception! Our May Scholar is a senior at Auburn High School. May also is Stroke Awareness Month and New Horizons Healthcare is providing valuable prevention information.
Our support of local businesses is an investment in our community. They support our schools, our nonprofits, provide jobs that spur economic growth and add an extra special flavor to our communities. This month and all spring let’s rally around these businesses. I plan to. But right now, I’m going to go out for a stroll and grab an ice cream cone!