By Peyton Furtado – November 19, 2020 6:49 PM

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Tracey and Girard Newkirk, owners of Genesis Block opened a new space on Thursday; it’s the next stepping stone in their goal to build small businesses block by block.

“Our tagline is we’re building the entrepreneur class,” Girard says, “And we want to do a lot of work in the community to help entrepreneurs.”

And according to Shemeka Stokes, a Genesis client and business owner, they’re putting an emphasis on strengthening black and minority-owned businesses:

“Black owned businesses and minority businesses are over mentored and underfunded. And so I really think that having entrepreneurship connected and Genesis Block here….it will open those avenues.”

According to the Minority Business Development Agency, these business owners tend to rely on short term loans and debt to finance their businesses at first.

But as the pandemic progresses, Tiffany Harsley-Jones, a local business owner, it’s getting harder to access the financial assistance many need to start.

“You know,” says Harsley-Jones, ‘once you have an idea and lack of resources…you have that idea in your head but you’re going in circles like which idea should you go with? Is this the best choice that you should make. You know, and having people like Girard and Tracy on your side has truly made a difference.”

According to the Small Business Administration, 64 percent of new jobs each year come from small businesses.

“So if we really want to drive job creation,” Newkirk explains, “we want to drive small business formation. And so part of our principal here at Genesis Block is how can we move forward small businesses.”

Over the next three years, the Newkirks hope to raise about 13 million dollars in revenue for the for the Wilmington community and start 120 new businesses, Harsley Jones’ barbeque sauce company:

“I mean it’s just truly amazing, to meet people as such… who are willing to help invest in your business…and in your dream.”

Hopefully fostering business and dreams in the Cape Fear Region.

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