The city of Kenosha is in the national spotlight after Jacob Blake was shot seven times by a police officer. Since then, the city has seen nightly protests, buildings set on fire, tear gas and two protesters shot to death.
But business owner Ryan Douglas says Kenosha is more than this moment of unrest and outcry. Douglas is the owner, president and founder of Land-Quest, a development and property management company in Kenosha.
Douglas says Kenosha is a growing and exciting place to live and work as a Black business owner. He’s been in Kenosha since the 1980s and says the recent violence in the area doesn’t represent the town or its residents.
“To outsiders looking in, it is a really nice close-knit community that’s working class, that looks out for each other,” Douglas says. "They’ve got a lot of mom and pop stores that are unique to this area. Some of the restaurants are second to none in our opinion.”
Douglas feels he is a part of the community because his company has worked with people to build their credit and purchase their first homes. His company manages rental property and has been keeping in touch with residents as well as local business owners in Kenosha. Douglas' business has not been damaged but he has visited those that have.
“We’re very committed to this location. This situation we’re in is a moment in time,” Douglas said. “It’s a serious moment in time, but we feel that will pass, people will heal, things will be rebuilt and we will get back to the business of building, instead of destroying.”