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Black-owned businesses appreciate community support

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CARBONDALE (WSIL) -- While many people are taking a stance against racial injustice, a Facebook group is showing support for local black-owned businesses.

"Being a business owner can be really tough, but you have to have that love for it or something. You have to have something that's going to keep pushing you forward to keep rolling to keep doing it."

Meo Myo Cafe manager Stephen Hardnett says he and owner Joe Batchelor take pride in their restaurant.

"It's been fine for us. We're giving food that nobody can really get in this area," he said.

They say they are grateful for all of their Carbondale customers.

"If the community knows about us, then they support us. That's the level we're trying to get to, them knowing what we're doing," said Batchelor.

Batchelor says his ultimate goal is to just provide tasty meals.

"I think we're going to wear people down enough to where they will really want to enjoy this place and put us on their list of restaurants to go to," he said.

Also in Carbondale, lies one of the few black owned beauty supply stores: Rahim's Beauty Supply. Owner Abdul Rahim Khalil says he loves the idea of being his own boss.

"It was for me and it was rewarding. It was self-satisfaction that I couldn't imagine, working for someone else," he said.

He says he wants to make a positive influence for future generations.

"I wanted to have a place where people say, 'are there any African American businesses in Carbondale?' Yeah, Rahim's, Rahim's Beauty Supply," he said.

He also hopes to inspire black men and for them to be confident in themselves.

"When you see a black man, it's a lot that goes into that. But when I say I'm a black man, that 's a strong commitment and that strong commitment takes on a strong responsibility, I owe that to myself and my family," he said.

Maya Skinner

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