The West Boulevard area in Charlotte has long been a home to many African American residents, and has experienced years of underinvestment. One of the organizations working to bolster community and economic development in the corridor is the West Boulevard Neighborhood Coalition. The coalition runs a wide range of initiatives, including financial empowerment workshops, youth entrepreneurial programs, and the West Boulevard Merchants’ Association.
The association was originally piloted in 2022, and the launch included 13 businesses. They expanded the boundaries to include the airport and hope to continue reaching new businesses owners. To support the merchants, West Boulevard has provided educational opportunities, grant opportunities, and networking opportunities.
West Boulevard’s work with the merchants’ association and the business hub are both supported through the Where It Starts: Breaking Barriers to Business initiative.