Minority local business owners discuss setbacks in the capital

  • The Office of Economic Vitality held their 31st Annual Big Bend MED Week
  • Local businesses owners shared their highlights and challenges of navigating life in the capital
  • Watch the video to hear about some of their immediate concerns


Building businesses at a time when the economy is being less than kind.

Small and minority owned businesses have been talking this week about steps they can put in place to help their growth. Community organizers and local businesses owners have been sharing their thoughts on the economic climate.

All of the people in this room are small and minority business owners. They’re here as part of The Office of Economic Vitality’s “Big Bend Minority Enterprise Development Week. “

Dreunna Holland owns the Dreunna Latoiya Consulting Firm. She said the climate has been strange since the pandemic, and it has caused some challenges.

“When you want to do something that’s very important, that’s good to you heart, sometimes you don’t have the money for that,” said Holland.

She said this also causes new problems with employee retention and expansion.

“Knowing there’s growth here, there is amazing people here, there are amazing businesses here that need growth and need help,” said Holland.

According to the Office of Economic Vitality, in 2022, the number of new businesses decreased by 17%.

Rita Brown said maybe that’s because the environment doesn’t allow for it right now. She owns Brownsville Preparatory Institute. She said that while she doesn’t need financial support, Tallahassee’s restricted real estate market isn’t allowing her to expand.

“Finding space in the area that I want to serve is my biggest problem,” said Brown.

LaTanya Raffington is the Senior Coordinator with the Office of Economic Vitality. She said longevity of small businesses is one of the biggest challenges but she has confidence in the people of the capital.

“It’s hard in this day and economy and this time, but we do have a lot of businesses that have been here for a long time,” said Raffington.

If you are a small or minority business owner in need of assistance. The office of economic vitality recommends you reach out for support. You can also share your concerns with me. Email me at and let me know some of the hurdles you’re facing in the current climate.

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