Hidden History: Black Owned Businesses in Elmira

Hidden History

ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM)- Annies and Sterling Property Management are two of the few black-owned businesses in Elmira.

“There’s a need, a desperate need, and we all want to look beautiful like anyone else,” said the owner of Annies, Olinda Sapp.

Annies is a local beauty supply store that sells all type of hair care items from protective styling tools, shampoo and conditioner, bonnets, and more.

“I enjoy people from all walks of life, so I thought I would continue doing this,” said Sapp.

The original owner of Annies gave the store over to Olinda after getting sick with cancer.

“It’s a standout for this city of Elmira. It’s a thriving business and everyone wants to stay beautiful,” said Sapp.

Another local black-owned business is Sterling Property Management, owned by Shaun Marks.

“If you work hard anything that you would like to achieve is achievable. One thing looking into the future and what we’re really poised at doing is finding significance,” said Marks.

Marks is also the owner of Clemens Square, who is looking to partner with entrepreneurs to bring shopping and dining to Elmira.

“One of the things that I really like is that we are making properties available to people in the community to have homes in an era where homeownership is becoming exclusive,” said Christa Heyward, Chief Operating Officer of Sterling Property Management.

“This is just one particular opportunity that we take to maybe highlight some of those experiences,” said Heyward.

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