KILLEEN, Texas — A group of Killeen citizens are preparing to make history through hosting Texas' first Black Business Week next month.
The free event will take place from February 11 to February 16, and organizers said they expect a large crowd.
Event coordinators said since it was announced, people from all over Texas and across the country have expressed interest.
They also said they hope Black Business Week will lead to more businesses opening up in Killeen that will both fit the needs of the community and bring in cash.
Ronnie Russell, the lead organizer for Texas' inaugural Black Business Week, said he's seen Killeen's economic growth first hand, so he thinks more black businesses should be popping up.
"We don't have to play sports to be successful anymore," Russell said. "We can actually look up to the black business owners, and kids can say 'you know what mom, I want to own my own restaurant. I want to own my own salon because now I see Mr. or Mrs. so and so doing it.'"
This week long event will feature business owners and guest speakers from various industries.
Business owners will discuss licensing, business plans, networking, breaking into the social media and tech world, how to make a profit and much more.
Bobby Butler, owner of Bobby B's Soulfood Kitchen and More, said he's looking forward to participating and sharing his expertise with eager entrepreneurs.
"I know how it is to start out a black owned business, and it was pretty hard for me to find the information and get all the tools for me to start up," Butler said. "I just want them to know that it's possible for them to open up their own, to go for their dreams, go for their goals."
Killeen mayor Jose Segarra said he supports the event. He's even going to read a proclamation announcing every second week of February as Black Business Week in the city.
"The minority aspect, you know whether you're Spanish, whether you're black, a lot of times we're not given that opportunity to say 'you know what does it really take to start a small business?' and I think that this is great," Segarra said.