DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA) – In Decatur, you can find all kinds of places to shop and eat including some Black-owned businesses like SugaFix Designer Dessert Studio.
“We’ve designed this place so that you can come in and take a break from your hustle and bustle, get a cupcake, get a milkshake, sit down, enjoy yourself and then go home and we clean up the mess,” Mesha Fields, the owner of SugaFix, said.
It has all kinds of sweet treats like cupcakes and milkshakes. Fields has been in business for 17 years, first working out of her home.
“For me, celebrating Black businesses because we need to make sure that we understand and kids see representation matters,” Fields said.
Fields said businesses like hers need more support from the state and federal governments.
“We need more help with revenue building, we need more help with the bureaucracy, the taxes, the filings and the different things so that you don’t fall into those traps that could potentially cause your business to fail,” Fields said.
It’s one of the reasons Congresswoman Nikki Budzinski (D-13) and State Sen. Doris Turner (D-Springfield) paid her and other Black-owned businesses in Decatur a visit on Monday.
“It’s incredibly important that we’re not just supporting small businesses in our communities, but we’re lifting up Black small business owners, and talking about some of the unique challenges and barriers that those face, Black small business owners and the small business community in general face, in getting access to capital, access to loans, cutting through regulatory impediments,” Budzinski said.
For other businesses in Decatur, one of the things they say they need most is more employees.
“That’s kind of the biggest challenge because I want to extend my hours for the holiday season,” Sheryol Threewit, the owner of All Things Beautiful, said. “So either I hire someone, or I’m going to extend my hours or just work longer hours.”
Threewit’s doors have been open for 12 years in Decatur and said she hopes that with lawmakers’ support, the city will grow.
“If Decatur grows then I grow, and I’m all about partnerships and the community getting better and our downtown getting better,” Threewit.