Black owned business celebrates Juneteenth by awarding a $1,000 scholarship and closing a deal on a commercial property

Arkansas News

EL DORADO, Ark. (06/19/20) — African American men in El Dorado celebrate Juneteenth by giving back to their communties.

Jamar Cunningham and Greg Williams, business partners who oversee Empire Properties, hosted an event Friday afternoon at one of their commercial properties.

They partnered with a local black owned ice cream truck to hand out free popsicles to those in the community while also drawing for a $1,000 scholarship to a senior that will be attending historically black college in the fall.

“This was the best day for us to do it and just celebrate the journey that we’ve been through as a people and as a culture and also I think it’s bringing awareness to our younger generation,” Jamar Cunningham said.

Empire Properties consists of a camaraderie of businesses underneath that one brand. It has over 100 residential properties and now three commercial properties. The pair just closed a deal on its third property on Hillsboro Road which will soon become the business headquarters.

“At some point we were considered property and then today over 100 years later we’re owning unlimited property,” Greg Williams said.

Both are motivated by their ancestors fight for freedom and want to make sure they carry out the vision they had from centuries ago.

That same tenacity is what Cunningham and Williams hope to portray to the younger generation.

“My message to inspiring entrepreneurs that are young black men is that I would encourage you to do it the right way,” he said.

“There are no shortcuts. If you can put that energy into something illegal, I guarantee you if you put that into a legal business and do it the right way you’ll be ten times as successful as you would be doing something the wrong way.”

Their goal is to continue to invest in El Dorado both on a residential and commercial side. Beginning next year, they hope to have a fresh market also located on Hillsboro Road for customers on that side of town to have access to fresh food.

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