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'It's been incredible' | Support soars for black-owned local businesses

People in Knoxville took to social media to promote support for black-owned businesses, and that support came pouring in fast.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Steamboat Sandwiches on Central Avenue in Knoxville reopened June 3 for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic.

They were swamped with business from open to close.

"Today was kind of unprecedented for us, just us being open," said co-owner Trevor Guydon.

Guydon said paired with their reopening was an even bigger wave of support for the black-owned business.

"Our friends wanted to go ahead and show us some support and we felt it," said Guydon. "We love everybody that did and definitely want to send out our best wishes to all other black owners as well."

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This extra support comes after people in Knoxville compiled lists of black-owned businesses, services, restaurants and more, encouraging others to support them as part of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Guydon saw the support in person, and local blogger Charlene Izere saw it online.

"It's amazing, amazing, amazing to be able to use my voice as a platform," she said.

Izere's personal blog and online company called Melanin and Money felt the love this week.

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"We've had over 500 or so new followers over the last couple of days...and it's just growing and growing steadily," she said.

Izere is hoping this new following can help spread her mission to help black women start their own businesses.

"We are committed to building communities of empires lead by black women, so we provide resource mobilization tools, strategic thought leadership, and business guidance to black women," she said.

Thanks to the support from locals, Izere is reaching more voices and Guydon is feeding more customers.

Both want to see that support continue.

"Are you about the movement or are you about the moment?" asked Izere.

These entrepreneurs encourage people to support any type of black-owned business, especially if they're local to your community.