TLH Housing Residents Complete Training to Open Own Business

By: Lanetra Bennett
August 21, 2014

Tallahassee, FL - Tallahassee resident Antonio Garrett is a mobile barber. He can cut your hair anytime and any place. But, after eight years of moving around, he's ready for something permanent to call his own.

Garrett is a step closer to opening his own barber shop and salon thanks to a training program offered by the Tallahassee Housing Authority and the FAMU Small Business Development Center.

During a seven-week course, he learned business skills such as writing business plans, accounting concepts, and marketing.

He says, "It helped me with finding out that it's not just opening up a business. You have to have a business projection; you have to go to the bank and make sure that you can pay them back that money and have interest to keep your business running."

There were five people to complete the program's first ever session. Business aspirations include catering, child care, and maintenance and repairs.

Danorris Thomas wants to open a franchise of 'Golden Crust Caribbean Grill and Bakery.' He says, "I feel good. I'm a step closer to my dream."

Thomas is a chef at a local hotel, and wants something bigger to help support his kids. He says, "They all got to go from FAMU D.R.S. to FAMU university. So, I'm paying for them to go to school now, something that my parents couldn't afford to do for me."

Garrett says, "Thank God it was available at the time that it was."

When the participants open their business, they'll have to opportunity bid on jobs with the Tallahassee Housing Authority.

The training program is for residents who live in public housing. Brenda Williams, the executive director of Tallahassee Housing Authority, says the main goal is to help the residents be self-sufficient and move out of housing.

The participants graduate Monday at 6 pm.

Williams says they will do a survey with housing residents to see if anyone else is interested in completing the program.

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