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Local News in Virginia

We Are Taking Action

By Ernest Lowery
Community Outreach Correspondent
New Journal and Guide

With a team of four, Berthram (Bert) Bergan has developed a plan to increase the awareness of Black-owned businesses in the Hampton Roads Area. The simple thought was to create a model that engages the African-American community with our interests in mind. In 2014 the hard work and planning came together under the banner of Through trial and error, they are finding success in 2016 with a proven platform, which is tailored for each new or established Black business.

One of success stories is called the Cash MOB. During a set time (morning, afternoon or evening), one would come into a designated Black established business via information through heavy social media and word of mouth. The idea is each person spends at least $20.00 during the stay. “When people are engaged in a relaxed environment, it enhances the networking process,” according to Bert.

One particular business is called Just Pic’d Juices (a cold pressed juicer) located in Norfolk. This particular model has all the bells and whistles. The Cash MOB increases engagement within a fun environment, promotes dialogue and awareness. Most importantly it creates a positive cash flow so the business can continue to serve our community better and help customers live a healthier life style. Hermon “Romie”and Felicia Amos are the owners of Just Pic’d Juices.

Who is Bert Bergan? He was born and raised on one of the three Virgin Islands (St. Croix) until the age of 16. His mother moved the family to the United States before his 17th birthday. Bert joined the Coast Guard, served four years as a dental technician. He also attended Norfolk State University for a year as a pre-med student. Bert has been married 14 years, is a father to four beautiful kids and calls Norfolk his home.

Bert and I really talked about some hard truths that float around in our culture. I hear it too. The most obvious question is why we do not support one another? How come we always ask for the discount? How come our customer service is jacked up? … And of course the quality of our product usually sucks. This happens to be the kind of questions we here all the time. If you remember the movie “I’m Going to Get you Sucker,” there was a scene with the late Issac Hayes and Chris Rock. When Chris asks the price of some ribs, Issac gave him a price and Chris replied … that’s a whole lot of money for your ribs. Chris went on and asks if he could buy just one rib. By this time, Issac was losing it, saying he has a business to run.

After the frustration set in with Issac, he agreed to sell the poor acting Chris a rib to get him out of his store. Needless to say digging into his pocket Chris pulls out a wad of money and asks Issac if he had change for a hundred dollar bill. I’m sure you can draw a conclusion here, maybe not such a fact, here, but you know! This is, in part, what hopes to change, too. You the customer finding and identifying the best of Black business in one location. A place where you can shop and receive the best of service, great products, a history of whom you are buying from and a map to guide you to that great deal.

Bert also offers you a choice to view on-line videos so you can get a feel for the place you desire to visit. Yeah, I think this is a good deal and yes these businesses can change a hundred for you. I trust unity will serve well. is an on-line business directory that connects customers with the best of Black business … “It just gets better and better.”

The word for the
week is…
check it, use it

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