ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Saint Petersburg Pier is welcoming some new businesses to its brand new retail space. It’s all part of an initiative to give small business owners exposure and have the businesses on the pier be a reflection of the community around it.

What You Need To Know

  • Nine Black female business owners are part of St. Pete's new equity initiative

  • St. Pete Pier now has a Black female business collective

  • All 9 businesses are run out of one booth

  • A celebration for the business collective is being held Saturday from 6 to 7 p.m.

For business owners like Tahisia Scantlaing, it’s an opportunity she said she could’ve never imagined would happen. She’s now running two businesses out from the pier district retail area. One of those businesses is real estate. The other offers products for dogs.

“What we saw was there was a lot of people bringing their dogs and there wasn’t anyone offering anything to the pets. So I’m a dog lover, I have my own dog at home and his name is Diesel so we thought about creating Diesel dog apparel,” Scantlaing said.

Scantlaing’s business and the businesses of eight other Black female business owners is part of a new equity initiative in St. Pete

“This was a collective started by 1Pier, One Community Plan, and the idea was to bring different entrepreneurs together and just really allow them to grow and expand their business,” Scantlaing said.

The new business venture is historic for St. Pete’s Pier district to have nine Black women with a business collective.

All nine businesses are run out of one booth with each shelf offering something different.  And Esther Eugene is helping to ensure it’s a success using her all administrative solutions business.

“I think the reality is for the longest we have not been represented at the pier prior to the revamping of the pier. It was many businesses in there but we were not represented. And so with the new make up, the new plan, the new outlet it was important that the entrepreneurs here look like the city,” Eugene said.

The One Pier initiative is apart of a larger equity initiative called the One Community Plan with a ten year goal to improve the financial health of African Americans living in St. Petersburg.

A celebration for the business collective is this Saturday from 6 to 7 p.m. at the pier.