Killeen kicked-off its first Black Business Week earlier this week and events are ongoing.

Killeen Mayor Jose Segarra started the week’s events Monday by reading a proclamation at Phileo Event Venue on Fort Hood Street announcing Black Business Week will occur every year during the second week in February. Events continue through Saturday.

“What businesses will get out of this week is connections and education,” event organizer Ronnie Russell said. “The African-American business community is considered to be under-resourced and underserved ... but we win when we have the education and know-how to grow our businesses.”

The six-day-long event is being co-hosted by Texas Black Pages and Village United, two local organizations that work to promote African-American-owned businesses within local communities. Black Business Week features multiple seminars, guest speakers and panels for business owners to participate in.

“The main goal of Black Business Week is to bring black businesses together and give them access to the resources they need,” organizer JoAnn Foster said. “We want them all to be aware of the resources that are out there to help them.”

The goal of the six-day event is to bring together black business owners in the Central Texas area who want to take their businesses into the future.

“Black entrepreneurship is on the rise and as the world of business evolves; it is critical that Black-owned businesses keep the pace,” a news release states. “According to the United States Black Chambers, Inc., in 2012 there were 1.9 million Black businesses. By fall of 2015, that number had grown to 2.6 million businesses. The goal of Black Business Week is to provide information and resources to ensure Black owned businesses grow and can be sustained.”

Russell said by the time the event began, more than 1,000 people had signed up for the various discussions being held throughout the week at multiple locations.

To find out when and where upcoming Black Business Week panels will be held go to for a complete schedule.

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