Diversity Shop At KeyBank Center To Open Tomorrow During Sabres Games

It’s part of the Level Up program to support women and minority-owned businesses that want to apply to operate at the new Bills stadium.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The next time you’re at a Sabres game, you will have more shopping options.

A program called Level Up is helping women and minority-owned businesses get ready to apply to be vendors at the new Bills Stadium. This is part of the Community Benefits Agreement, and will bring Black-owned businesses to the KeyBank Center this month to give business owners more exposure in front of large crowds.

Diversity Shop at KeyBank Center will feature eight Black-owned businesses that will set up shop on the 100 level during Sabres games. The goal is to give them the arena experience so they know what it’s like to engage with a large audience. This will give them the exposure they need to maybe be considered for a spot at the new Bills stadium.

“I’m very thankful for the opportunity and to bring awareness of what my business can do and the power that it has to bring to the community,” said Jamilah Jill Miller, who owns Skincare Essentials by Jill.

The businesses range from skincare companies to candle makers and clothing stores.

“I am a self-taught seamstress, so for me having, I guess, the opportunity to work with Level Up and Chairwoman Baskin, is so pivotal for small businesses that don’t have access or may not know how to climb up a corporate ladder so that their products can be shown in large spaces,” said Phylicia Dove, who owns Black Monarchy.

Level Up connects business owners with people in the corporate world to help get their businesses to the next level so they can confidently apply to become vendors at the new stadium.

“We just want a seat at the table. We just want the opportunity to be exposed and share what we can do and what our products will bring, and once we have that opportunity, it will speak for itself,” said Courtney Nelson Benton, who owns Elle James Decor.

“What it does for small businesses, it allows us to have the confidence to keep creating those tables. And we all have amazing products, unique products, and I’m so grateful to be among such amazing women and men who are creating beautiful things that really change the world,” said Phylicia Dove.

Diversity Shop at KeyBank Center starts Tuesday night when the Sabres face the Kings and continues through March 12.

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