With National Black Business Month being over, that does not mean that you should stop supporting Black businesses.

You can support a few of these amazing Grand Rapids Black businesses here.

The Michigan Small Business Development Center (Michigan SBDC) has announced a competition that could help these Black businesses flourish even more.

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What Is Pitch Black?

In 2021, PITCH BLACK was created in response to the effects that the COVID-19 pandemic caused on Black-owned businesses in Muskegon County.


With how successful the competition has been in Muskegon County, they are now bringing it to Grand Rapids with a focus on Black-owned businesses within in Kent County.

Last month, 20 Black business owners were selected from an applicant pool. Each business owner received pitch training that prepared them to present to a panel of Balck judges during the preliminary rounds of the competition.

Five to seven business owners will be chosen to be finalists and pitch their businesses for their share of $10,000!

WHAT? Incredible!!

1st place Grand Prize of $5,000
2nd place prize of $3,500
3rd place prize of $1,500

West Michigan Regional Director for the Michigan SBDC, Ed Garner, shared that,

"It's sort of like Shark Tank meets America's Got Talent. It will be on an auditorium stage in a game show-style fashion - with a Black host, Black contestants, Black judges, Black music, Black dancers, and even Men in Black. It's our way of uplifting the Black business community and is part of our DEI initiative called Uplift Michigan, a strategic movement designed to ensure equitable access for all diverse entrepreneurs across Michigan."

Pitch Black Competition 2023

This year, the PITCH BLACK competition is coming to Grand Rapids on Thursday, September 28th at Grand Valley State University's DeVos Center.

The showcase opens at 5 PM with the competition starting at 6:30 PM.

If you want to go to the competition, you can! The event is free and open to the public. However, all audience members are being asked to dress in casual black. You can register and see additional information about contestants and judges here.

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