As protests against racial injustice and police brutality continue around the country, you may have heard calls to support black-owned businesses. The pandemic and related economic shutdowns have led to a difficult few months for businesses nationwide. And your spending, as you venture back out into your community, can be essential for rebuilding the finances of businesses that needed to close for weeks or months.
But the importance of buying from black-owned businesses goes beyond the effects of the pandemic, and even beyond the most recent efforts to bring awareness to the struggles faced by the black community.
Black entrepreneurs are less likely to seek funding from banks to help build their businesses, in part due to fear of rejection and discrimination, notes Deanna Taylor at the Charlotte Observer. That hesitancy, and the resultant need to rely on self-funding or loans from friends and family, can put a black-owned business at a disadvantage before they even open their doors.
“Bringing visibility to black-owned businesses on larger platforms often helps them to sustain business and continue providing to their respective communities when the odds are often against them,” Taylor writes.
We’ve seen some fabulous lists compiled of black-owned businesses in various categories populate across social media, and many of those lists are still growing.
Here’s where you can start if you want to redirect some of your spending toward these options. Whether you are shopping in person or online, you’ll be sure to find a few new-to-you favourite businesses to support.
Literary Hub has assembled a list of black-owned bookstores organized by city and state. Every store on the list is open and accepting online orders, save for a few noted to be taking orders by phone only.
(Not sure what to read right now? We have a few suggestions.)
Looking for fashion and beauty businesses to support? Vogue lists 68 black-owned brands in the fashion and beauty world, along with details for where to shop for their products online. There’s something for every budget, from $11 nail polishes to $500 leather handbags.
Wellness and fitness
Well + Good has organized a list of more than 100 black-owned brands focusing on wellness. Categories include beauty, fitness, mental health and food.
Looking for a new workout routine? Travel Noire compiled a list of 24 black-owned gyms located in California, Georgia, Pennsylvania, New York and various other areas.
House Beautiful is featuring 19 black-owned brands on the furnishings and home decor scene, with wares ranging from candles to ceramics and even interior paint.
Hungry? Bon Appetit has a list of lists that’s worth bookmarking. It breaks the country into three regions, then lists either community-built spreadsheets or local publications’ lists (and sometimes both!) featuring black-owned eateries.
Whether you’re looking for a sit-down restaurant, a coffee shop, a bakery or quick takeout spot, you’ll find lots of options on these lists.
Not in a position to shop right now? You can still support black-owned businesses by following them on social media and sharing their posts and products with your network.
Looking for ways to advocate for black lives? Check out this list of resources.