Today I get to chat with Maggie Noe and Marine Nimblette who earlier this summer began collaborating on Businesses United in Diversity and will be having their first event this Saturday in Uptown Kingston at the DMV lot.
Maggie Noe, an undergrad double-majoring in International Area Studies and Business at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. An alumna of Kingston High School and resident of Woodstock, NY, Maggie has been connected to the community for her whole life, and is now finding a way to give back by hosting a COVID-19 relief event that recognizes the disproportionate negative impact COVID has had on minority businesses.
She was inspired by the Black Lives Matter protests in Kingston, seeing young leaders take charge got her thinking: “How, in my own way, can I give back to my community?” After rolling through ideas like running for mayor, she came about the idea of a food truck festival where all proceeds would be donated to Black Lives Matter charities. She called Marine with this idea, and thank goodness she did. Together, they made an undeveloped idea for a food truck festival into an diversity-centered business event to stimulate economic growth in the community.
Marine Nimblette is an undergraduate student at Northeastern University in Boston, MA. She is a Cell and Molecular Biology major planning on applying to medical school. She has a passion for helping people and wants to have a positive effect on this world. As an alumna of Kingston High School and a child of immigrant parents, she has always felt that the Hudson Valley has a strong sense of community. She believes that during this time it is more important than ever to unify and strengthen our community’s resources by uplifting the members who have been neglected: minority groups. As a minority, she has experienced the hurdles that come with trying to be successful in a majority-white community and hopes to help alleviate this struggle for others by giving minority businesses an opportunity to showcase themselves.
Businesses United in Diversity’s Mission: It is a known reality that minority businesses are subject to a lack of managerial and industrial resources, discriminatory lending practices, and an absence of community support. COVID-19 made this reality even more consequential: black-owned and minority-owned businesses have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19. COVID-19 has impacted businesses of all types significantly over the past few months by limiting foot traffic to a near-complete halt, restricting household incomes, and creating a fear of being surrounded by others that will last for years to come.
For these combined reasons, our mission is to help counteract the systemic hurdles and effects of COVID-19 that minority business owners (with an emphasis on black owners given the societal circumstances) have faced in the Hudson Valley. We want to host an event that will allow businesses to showcase their services and be exposed to a higher volume of consumers while practicing social distancing. Given that the removal of systemic hurdles minority owners face is encompassed in the mission of black lives matter, to represent the united support of the BLM movement by Ulster County we will be donating proceeds to local BLM charities.
Today we chat about how and why they put together this event, plus get into the personal and discuss college, COVID and self care.
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