East Texas Black Business Ownership Grows

by Larry Little

Empty buildings in East Texas are becoming new businesses and many are those businesses are black owned. It a growing trending nationwide and here in East Texas. Thelma Ross is a new business owner in Lufkin. "Every since I was a young kid growing up I always wanted something of my own and I look around and people got this and people got that so the lord made a way and open doors," says Thelma Ross.

Thelma opened her Lufkin clothing shop two months ago. She says being a new business owner has it's benefits but you have to be ready for financial drawbacks. "Maybe tomorrow we don't bring in anything. It's flexible. It's up and it's down but you can't stop becuase you didn't make anything one day. You just have to keep striving and it will get better," says Ross.

Achilles Hodge is known as the fragrance king. He opened his downtown Lufkin scents and gift shop nearly 12 months ago. "Right now it's a steady process. I'm sending out advertisement and doing a lot of marketing, trying to get the business put out there so people actually know," says Achilles Hodge.

These new, young business owners says ownership is a commitment. "It's a 24 hour committment. If you are not willing to make the sacrifices and give your all you may not want to step out there in the water," says Hodge. These new black owned East Texas businesses join several that have already made sacrifices and are now permanent fixures in the East Texas business community.