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Dynamic Duo Helps Grow Small Businesses in Delray

With economic development not yet fully impacting all neighborhoods in Delray, two local residents, Jennifer Jones and Angela Burns, set about creating an organization focused on building collective prosperity. The duo's company, JJABA, LLC, has the main goal of supporting the creation of Black entrepreneurs and building a pathway toward the launching of more Black-owned businesses in the community.

Toward this end, Burns and Jones rebirthed The Peach Umbrella Network, an initiative of the Set Neighborhood Alliance. The Peach Umbrella provides businesses with information that will strengthen, educate, and empower them to thrive through its website, socials, seminars and workshops. Their website lists brick-and-mortar businesses, artisan vendors, full time entrepreneurs and side businesses.

The name, Peach Umbrella, came from an earlier era when the peach-colored “Clay Wideman Building” in the SW 400 block in Delray was home to The Peach Umbrella Plaza Association. The Association was a group of Black owned businesses that cooperated in support of one another. In the days of Jim Crow segregation, this West Settlers district was self-sufficient with commercial buildings and churches serving its residents. The community supported its businesses because the businesses supported the community.

Burns and Jones have also organized Blackmer’s Market, which is held on the third Sunday of every month where black owned businesses set up booths for commerce on NW 5th Avenue. In years past, NW 5th Avenue was North Blackmer Street and was the hub of business and social activities.

The Peach Umbrella network played a part in the recent, successful Juneteenth celebration. Held on Saturday June 18th at Pompey Park, more than 30 community groups and organizations were invited to participate in The Freedom Festival (Juneteenth Think Tank & Celebration) organized by Kenya Madison of Healthier Delray and Bishop Michael Brennen of Eben-Ezer Baptist Church. Angela Burns arranged for vendors and performers for the event and JJABA sponsored the food for the prayer breakfast held by Bishop Brennan at Pompey Park.

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