INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indy Chamber is shining light on the challenges facing minority small businesses.
This effort is in addition to loan support and business coaching, and the organization will be getting help from one of the nation’s oldest Black-owned newspapers.
Even though a lot of small business are surviving the coronavirus pandemic, a few others have failed. With minority businesses facing broader challenges, Indy Chamber representatives hope providing support and partnering with the Indianapolis Recorder helps build a more economically inclusive city.
The Wrightway Wrestling, despite the odds, has done well. It’s grown during the pandemic. Husband and wife Brandon and Emily Christine Wright are the owners.
“We faced many challenges by kind of client loss; obviously, revenue dropped a little bit. But, we’re finally getting things back to normal,” she said.
Wresting isn’t considered common in minority communities. This couple hopes to change that, using its business to teach a skill but also provide an outlet to young people who may need it the most.
Brandon Wright said, “I’m trying to grow and diversify the sport more, provide opportunities for Hispanic boys, you know, African-American boys, you know, multicultural boys, fatherless boys, all types of minority boys, to get them in some kind of wrestling to recognize that this is a very fair match. In life, we kind of start behind a little bit.”
Facing failure, the pair looked to the Indy Chamber. In March 2020, at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the agency started providing rapid loans to small businesses, later expanding that effort with business coaching and, for the Wrights, marketing help.
Stacia Murphy is the chamber’s director of equity outreach and strategic partnerships. “We just know that there have been multiple challenges on everybody in the pandemic, and no less to our small-business community, and especially those with compounding issues like our minority businesses.”
Murphy said it’s important for the economy to have a diversity of businesses, and access to capital has been the downfall of many small businesses.
Brandon Wright said, “There’s always going to be a risk. My wife, my partner, it’s all about trying to stick to our plan and execute our plan.”
The business coaching through the chamber is free.
The Wrights said, in addition to the business, they are developing a nonprofit to provide scholarship opportunities for young people hoping to get into wrestling and find a safe constructive outlet. The Wrights’ story will be featured in the Indianapolis Recorder.