Protesters say black businesses being forced out of Detroit

DETROIT (WJBK) – Activists marched from Hart Plaza to city hall to raise awareness about what they say is the extinction of Detroit’s black businesses.

“I had a business,” said Darnell Small of Tangerine Nightclub. “It has been destroyed. I was forced out.”

Bert Dearing is the owner of Bert’s Marketplace, a restaurant and jazz bar with a long history in the city, that he says has suddenly come to an end.

FOX 2: “What is the status of your business?”

“As we talk, it’s on Auction.com today, tomorrow, and Thursday,” Dearing said. “But I’m not going nowhere. I’ve got some surprises for them.”

Dearing would not reveal what those surprises would be, while many of these activists believe there’s more behind the closings.

Su as these activists continue to fight for justice many want to know why city leaders are not taking a stand on the issue.

At Tuesday’s rally activist Ron Scott questioned why Mayor Mike Duggan is not doing more to save black businesses

“Could it be that some of his friends and family are involved in the benefits,” Scott said.

Duggan’s chief of staff Alexis Wiley said there is no truth in these conspiracy theories.

“Just a matter of days ago we had a meeting where we convened about 40 black business owners in the city of Detroit,” Wiley said. “And we have real money to help businesses with programs like Motor City Match.”

The owner of Mo Better Blues restaurant and jazz club says his business is an example of how the mayor’s office is helping black business owners.

“They worked with us in last location and this one location  with any red tape that was going on,” said owner Gerald Watson II. “If we had any questions we could talk to the director, the deputy director and get anything needed taken care of.”

For more information on Motor City Match, go to: http://www.motorcitymatch.com/

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