Columbia launches minority and women-owned business database

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COLUMBIA - The City of Columbia's website launched a database of businesses owned by minorities and women Tuesday.

The database includes 129 businesses. It is a part of the social equity priority of the city's Strategic Plan, which strives to assist disadvantaged business enterprises so they have equal opportunities in the private sector.

Debra Harris and her husband Al Harris own A Cut Above the Rest Barber and Salon. She said the database is a great idea if enough people know about it.

Al Harris said he wants more business from everyone, regardless of race, because he is able to do a variety of styles and cuts.

Debra Harris said the couple's business is not a "black and white thing,"

"At the end of the day we are a business and we offer a service, so we are trained to service all people. It’s not about the color."

She said the database seems like it will help new businesses more than hers because the black community already knows about A Cut Above the Rest.

The Harrises hope the database will allow more diverse people to patronize their business and “at least give [them] a chance to service them,” Debra Harris said.

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