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Business Owners Talk About Triumphs, Challenges As National Black Business Month Begins

CHICAGO (CBS) -- August is National Black Business Month – a time to choose and support Black-owned stores and other operations.

On Saturday, Illinois state Rep. LaShawn Ford (D-Chicago) gathered business owners to tell the story of their triumphs and challenges.

They celebrated the legacy of Black entrepreneurs who worked hard to succeed and vowed to support each other.

But everyone in the group agreed there is a long road ahead.

"As we've gone through this time, we are here today to remind the world that Black businesses – there will be no justice and no peace without access to fair banking practices. There will be no justice and no peace without contract opportunities – we don't want just token opportunities. There will be no justice and no peace without access to union jobs," said Melinda Kelly of the Chatham Business Association.

This year marks the 26th anniversary of National Black Business Month.

Rep. Ford gave shout-outs to several Black-owned businesses, including the Society 2201 nightclub at 2201 W. Walnut St. on the Near West Side.

Ford also stressed the importance of Black Americans working together to build a solid economic future.

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