Carrboro celebrated Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week last week, as announced by Mayor Damon Seils.
MED Week, started by the U.S. Department of Commerce 40 years ago, honors minority-owned businesses and their contributions to the community.
"Minority-owned businesses often face barriers to terms of access to capital and other resources," Seils said. "[MED Week is] just to highlight the accomplishments of minority-owned businesses, entrepreneurs and business leaders."
According to the Census Bureau, there are at least 55 minority-owned businesses in Carrboro, employing more than 1,200 people.
Siddisee Hirpa, the owner and instructor of Kumon Math and Reading Center of Carrboro-South Green, attended the town council meeting where Seils read the proclamation.
"What I’m hoping is by putting an emphasis on minority-owned businesses, it will just become more part of the consciousness of the everyday person living in the area," Hirpa said.
Hirpa said she was the first of her immediate family to open a business, and she said she is honored that her struggle and hard work are being recognized.
Carrboro's Economic Development Department works to promote minority-owned businesses through programs such as BIPOC Business Roundtable discussions, which the Town is promoting during MED Week.
"We have these business roundtables, which are featured to encourage local, minority-owned business owners to come together and talk with Town staff about the challenges that they’re facing and brainstorm how the Town or other factors could be helpful in addressing those challenges," Seils said.