Owners of new dollar store looked to as role models for community youth
When new businesses open up, it's not uncommon for them to get a lot of support from their surrounding community.
Long Dollar Store at 4201 Norwood Ave in Sacramento opened up on July 1 and they've already received an overwhelming amount of support.
Inside, you'll find it really does live up to the name: everything except a few gift bags are a dollar.
While that may be the price point of each item, the real value this business brings many would say is priceless. Part of that comes from Long Dollar being owned and operated by two black men.
"The business owners, the youth can relate to," said Dr. Nicole Clavo, a well known community leader who lost her own son JJ to senseless gun violence. "[The owners] look like them, sound like them, been through some of the things they've been through. To know that, it only gives them hope they too can be successful."
Dr. Clavo adds that in a time of heightened violence in Sacramento communities, this is a morale boost much needed.
"Our youth could be hired in these stories, so not only do you have people that look like you, they can employ them and train them," Clavo said.
Being role models wasn't what co-owners Terry Crowder and Jason Long were expecting.
Crowder lost his mom at just 9-years-old, moving from family member to family member until he graduated high school. About a week before he turned 27, he got into an accident.
"I hit an 18 wheeler head on and was thrown from the car, landed in the middle of the highway," Crowder said. "Many said it was a miracle I was alive."
This new role model opportunity may have given him the sense of purpose he has been looking for.
"I decided I got nothing to complain, although I'm still here," Crowder said. "Why am I still here at that point? That was yet to be determined. Maybe this is the reason I'm still here, to get this opportunity and show others can do it too."
And the responsibility is one Crowder and Long are eady to take on.
"If I could help somebody to become better or to even show them how we did it, I would be more than willing," Crowder said. "The fact that we are black-owned makes them feel good...some of them come in dancing! We feel that love and energy."
The grand opening of Long Dollar will be in September.