Newport News entrepreneur hosts ‘Vendor Roundup’ to support local small businesses

Living Local

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, major corporations are struggling to stay afloat with hundreds of businesses being forced to file bankruptcy. Small businesses have bore the brunt of COVID-19 after effects.

Newport News native Brittani Coley, co-owner of Filipino Food Truck Lorma’s Kitchenette, grapples with the task of keeping a steady flow of customers. She also knows of other Black-owned local business owners in the same boat, which is why she came up with the idea to host an event to bring more customers to not only herself, but her network of entrepreneurial friends in Hampton Roads.

“We got hit really hard during COVID-19 and we weren’t sure how it was going to be for everyone else. We wanted to highlight different entrepreneurs in the area,” said Coley.

The event put on by “The Backyard” and “King of Hearts” will consist of 18 vendors selling a variety of goods from apparel, to body butters, to delicious food.

In terms of safety, the event is taking place in an outdoor space where all vendors will be spread 6 feet apart. Guests will be required to enter through one area and exit through another. While Coley encourages guests to shop and network, she doesn’t want attendees to linger around for the entirety of the event.

She also hopes this event will give much-needed exposure to businesses that tend to fly under the radar.

“A lot of women are coming out. A lot of Black-owned businesses that a lot of people don’t know about. I just want to do my part to help them and support them.”

The Vendor Roundup is Saturday, June 27 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 146 Menchville Road in Newport News. Admission is free to the public. For more information, check out the events Instagram Page @The.BackyardEvent.

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