National Black Business Month at The Greenhouse
The Greenhouse joins in the national effort to acknowledge, appreciate, and uplift black business owners in our community. For National Black Business Month, we are excited to highlight black business owners who have participated in Greenhouse-affiliated cohort programs.
Dorian Speaker, the owner of AMR Movers, participated in the first cohort of the South St. Petersburg CRA Microfund Program in 2023. The Microfund Program offers personalized capacity building through increased education, mentoring, and networking in exchange for funding, so business owners can make targeted and planful improvements without having to provide upfront capital. Through this funding package, the City’s goal is to ensure businesses within the Community Redevelopment Area (CRA) can take advantage of the capital access initiative.
Meet Dorian Speaker with AMR Movers
GH: Tell us a little about yourself and your business!
DS: My name is Dorian Speaker, and I am a native here in St. Petersburg, FL. I was born at Bayfront Hospital, back in 1979. I am a father and a husband. Most people who associate with me know that my wife is my rock, and I take a lot of pride in my children’s success. I enjoy coaching sports like football, baseball, and wrestling. It’s a platform for me to give back to the community by using these outlets to assist the youth with experiencing very positive growth and development. Train hard! Analyze and study! Give 110% Devotion! These are three principles that I learned in the field, and the name I chose for my company holds these values at its core. Hence, AMERICA’S MOST RELIABLE MOVERS, INC.
GH: What inspired you to start your business?
DS: At the age of fourteen, I began punching a timecard. From then until I decided to open America’s Most Reliable Movers, at the age of 27, I gained knowledge and experience from the various job titles I held. Though most of them didn’t last, there were a few jobs I really did fancy, and made me proud. As time went on, my family was growing, along with my bills, but my finances had stunted. To make more money, I began advertising my skills for hire on Craigslist. It did not take long to successfully do business all on my own. I made more money in half the time than I did at any job, which allotted more time at home and inspired me to go into business for myself.
GH: What advice would you give to others who are looking to grow their business?
DS: The advice I would give to those future entrepreneurs is to pursue a business where you don’t mind being the first to show up and the last to leave.
GH: Please describe your experience in the South St. Petersburg CRA Microfund Program. Would you recommend the program to others?
DS: I already talk to folks about the Microfund Program, and I highly recommend it. The professional advice and literature I received in those flash screen workshops was phenomenal. The Greenhouse staff’s positive energy was contagious. I also got a chance to network and potentially work with other local businesses.
GH: Why do you think National Black Business Month is important?
DS: When I started my business approximately seventeen years ago as the first black-owned moving company in St. Pete, I realized I was an enigma. There were times when I would work all day on a job site and be reluctant to introduce myself as the owner because I wanted customers to feel, in the end, that they had chosen a large corporation. It wasn’t until our reputation had grown that the so many confused and awkward expressions on the faces of those who greeted us at the door on a moving day transformed into warm welcomes and hospitality as the norm. Today, I feel like National Black Business Month is important to all communities because it puts a spotlight on black businesses offering great services and products, and with this platform, the world can see in contrast, the differences between reputable companies.
GH: What are your future goals/plans for your business?
DS: My future goal for this business is to be able to give opportunities to more individuals to make an honest living.
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