By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Beech Companies released new directory Thursday that is designed to promote hundreds of African-American owned businesses in North Philadelphia.

The North Philadelphia Black Biz Directory is the first ever created by the Beech Companies, a nonprofit that leverages property, loans and more supporting the people of North Central Philadelphia.

“You might be the greatest attorney in the world, but if you don’t have clients, how do you grow?” says Ken Scott, President of Beech Companies. He says they created the directory after a recent study revealed black and minority owned businesses are missing out on new development opportunities in Philadelphia.

“We are talking about several billion dollars in new development, but when you are talking about new development you are talking about two to three percent,” he says. “Most of the developers tell us we didn’t know these business were here.”

Beech wants to change the dialogue by categorizing 200 black-owned businesses, first in its key area. Scott says Beech is starting in North Philadelphia from Market Street to Allegheny Avenue and will eventually expand to include the entire city.

“Hopefully it can be of value and we can stop the conversation of we don’t know where these businesses are at,” says Scott.

The directory is online and in hard copy, and an app will be available to download next month. 

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