Photographer Khandiese Cooper is the founder of one of many black-owned businesses in the Central Texas area.
"We’re finding out that there are a lot more black businesses in town that a lot of people didn’t know of,” said Cooper.
She said it is important that those businesses continue to thrive.
"We're really focused on creating the movement for black businesses to really start taking ourselves seriously," said Cooper.
She was not the only one who thought so.
On Monday, Cooper joined dozens of others in Killeen as Texas Black Pages and The Village United kicked off Texas Black Business Week.
"To me, black businesses in Central Texas are growing. There are a lot more businesses that are registered now, but the main thing is sustainment. We want black businesses to stay open. In order for black businesses to stay open, we have to be educated," said Ronnie Russell, CEO of Texas Black Pages.
Those involved shared that during the week-long event people can expect to build relationships within the business community.
"A series of workshops. A series of panel discussions. Of course, today making history with the proclamation reading, a dual proclamation reading, with the City of Killeen Mayor Jose Segarra and the City of Nolanville with Mayor Andy Williams," said Russell.
"It's an educational opportunity and hopefully, and I’m sure it will, but hopefully it will inspire other people to kind of continue that year after year," said City of Killeen Mayor Jose Segarra.
Cooper shared she looks forward to the rest of the week's festivities and she encouraged others to get involved.
"It's complementary to the community. So, it's really about, it’s we don’t have any excuses after this, because all of the information that we need to be and stay successful is being given to us this week," said Cooper.
Texas Black Business Week will end on Friday with an awards gala to celebrate black-owned businesses and a workout boot camp on Saturday morning.
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