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Houston Chronicle


Turkey Leg Hut Fest gives new businesses needed exposure, by Robert Downen (Houston Chronicle)

A block away, 39-year-old Steve Stephens bounced back and forth between the home he owns across from the Turkey Leg Hut and the [360 photo booth] 3D camera that he’d set up to draw interest from festival attendees.

In August 2020, he opened a new business, Houston Party House, that rents out space for parties and events in the Third Ward.

It was one of the nearly 4.4 million new businesses that were launched across the country that year, a 24 percent increase that the National Bureau of Economic Research found was particularly pronounced in Black communities.

The Third Ward, where half of the residents are Black, was no exception: They jumped by more than one-quarter that year. Other predominantly Black parts of Houston saw similar increases, including in the East Little York/Homestead and South Park areas, where new business registrations tripled in 2020.

Experts have noted that the rise in Black-owned businesses corresponds with the arrival of COVID-19 stimulus checks and that protests over the murder of George Floyd and other Black Americans brought in much-needed support for small, minority-owned businesses.


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