By Jack Gallop| January 28, 2021 at 11:34 PM EST – Updated January 29 at 5:51 PM 

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – Genesis Block, a community collaborative that supports the development of entrepreneurs, small businesses, and startups, celebrated the ten small businesses selected to its minority business acceleration program on Thursday.

Genesis Block held a kickoff event where the ten businesses—all based in the Cape Fear region—were invited to celebrate their roads to success. Each business was invited to speak briefly about the service or goods they provide. Businesses in the program include Jay Ski’s Rub-a-Dub, a company that sells spices; Get That Deed, a company that helps people become homeowners; and Star-Studded Voices, a vocal performance teaching company.

The Back on the Block Minority Accelerator program is one year long. The process begins with 16 weeks of intensive training, followed by preparation to become ready for investors and finally, execution of capital growth strategies. Genesis Block partnered with NC IDEA and New Hanover County to kick start this program. Although 10 businesses were selected, 67 applied.

Genesis Block co-founders Tracey and Girard Newkirk say that they want their company to serve as the anchor institution for minority and women-owned business development in Southeastern North Carolina.

Congressman David Rouzer and other local leaders spoke, as did Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo, who attended the event virtually. Senator Michael Lee was scheduled to speak and attend but was diagnosed with COVID-19 earlier in the day.

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