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CBS3: ‘It’s A Renaissance’: Young Black Women-Owned Businesses Are Growing Faster Than Ever Before

Updated: Jan 27, 2020

Young black women-owned businesses are growing faster than ever before, according to stats from the Federal Reserve. Eyewitness News found there’s a similar trend in Philadelphia’s Fishtown neighborhood.

Harriett’s Bookshop on Girard Avenue in Fishtown feels more like a party than a bookseller.

“We’re celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday in the best way we know how,” Jeannine A. Cook said.

She says many of her books focus on women making a difference and as a 36-year-old African American business owner in a changing neighborhood, so is she.

“I think Fishtown is a great place for it. A lot of people told me don’t be here, that Fishtown is too white and it wasn’t going to be accepting of anything that didn’t fit that homogenous model and that couldn’t be more wrong,” she said.

She is not alone.

There are a number of businesses owned by young black women in and around Fishtown, including The Art Department, Dancefit and in nearby Kensington, Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse.

“We are the first in the city to have comic books and coffee,” owner Arielle Johnson said.

She believes there’s a movement of young black women in the area wanting to helm their own businesses.

“I do think it’s a renaissance for a lot of different things. That is what’s happening,” Johnson said

“Knowing that it’s yours and you have to keep it going, I think that’s why it’s becoming such a renaissance,” Janay Green said.

Philadelphia has commissioned a citywide study on its business landscape. That’s expected to be released later this year.

This story originally appeared on CBS3 on January 20, 2020.

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