If you've marched in a demonstration, signed petitions, donated to bail funds and started to self-educate, there's still at least one other way you can offer your support to the Black community now and in the future.
Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP President Anna Richards said while institutional change is most important to combat systemic racism, individuals should take their own steps to fight racism. Some of these steps, Richards said, include donating to organizations fighting systemic racism — and supporting local Black-owned businesses.
“Minority businesses are more likely to be small businesses, so supporting these businesses really builds diversity into our local economy, in addition to adding to the overall economic vitality of a community,” Richards said. “The systemic wealth gap can also be helped enormously just by helping small, Black-owned businesses.”
A 2018 report by The Charleston Chronicle found that while Black Americans make up 13 percent of the U.S. population, they only own 7 percent of the businesses.
Black Dollar, a North Carolina company founded in 2019, is one organization working to support the Black business community in response to the inequality and barriers they face, said Kayla Walker, the company's vice president.
Walker said Black Dollar currently has over 500 Black-owned businesses listed in its online rolodex. Black Dollar supports business owners in other ways as well, by advising with marketing and funding and holding informational seminars and events, Walker said.
Richards said Black business owners also face racial barriers in receiving loans from the banks.
“There are still a lot of barriers faced by Black-owned business owners, like discrimination in the banking industry, and supporting them can help make their businesses stronger and increase their net worth,” Richards said.
Richards said Black business owners tend to hire a lot of minorities as staff, so supporting these businesses helps create jobs in the local economy and reduces minority unemployment rate.
Walker said she encourages black business owners in N.C. to go on Black Dollar’s website to register their business to be included in their online rolodex.
Walker said buzz surrounding black businesses following recent protests and activism “put a magnifying glass” on the work done at Black Dollar.
“The most effective thing to support the African American community is to not just support us when everyone else is,” Walker said. “Support us every single day.”
Here is a list of some Black-owned businesses around the Chapel Hill and Carrboro area that you can support:
401 Main, a community bar in downtown Carrboro that specializes in classic American food with a modern twist, is currently open for dine-in and takeout from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Al's Burger Shack's locations on Franklin Street and in Southern Village offer a variety of twists on the classic burger. The restaurant is currently open Monday through Saturday from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. for curbside pickup and to-go orders at both locations.
Ben & Jerry’s, an ice cream store on West Franklin Street, is open for to-go orders every day from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. Diners can also opt to eat at the restaurant's outdoor seating.
Big Bob’s City Grill, a Hillsborough restaurant that serves American cuisine and bar food, is currently open for curbside pickup from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and Saturday and Sunday, and open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m on Friday.
Mama Dip's Kitchen is a restaurant in Chapel Hill serving classic Southern cuisine and is currently open for indoor and outdoor dine-in, as well as curbside pickup. Manager Cissy Green said the restaurant's service hours are Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Green said customers also have the option to order a pre-made family meal or picnic basket to go.
Tonya’s Cookies, a Chapel Hill bakery located across from Mama Dip's, is open for pickup of call-ahead orders every day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., said founder Tonya Council. Tonya's Cookies can also be purchased in Whole Foods across the Triangle.
Vegan Flava Cafe is a Chapel Hill-based restaurant specializing in vegan cuisine, and is currently open for call-in orders and walk-up orders, said one of the owners, Stephen Gardner El. Gardner El said their current hours are Wednesday through Saturday 12 p.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Gift cards also available for purchase on their website.
EmPOWERment, Inc. is a nonprofit in Chapel Hill committed to providing affordable housing to people in Orange County facing barriers related to their race, income, age or other discriminatory factor, said Executive Director Delores Bailey. Bailey said EmPOWERment is currently accepting online monetary donations or gift card donations, which will be redistributed to low-income Orange County residents.
Excellent Presence is a digital marketing and web strategy company that helps financial advisers target their ideal audience. Founder H.T. Major said ExcellentPresence focuses on serving Black financial advisers and Black-owned firms, who she said are more likely to financially assist Black business owners.
Garblana Business Services is a Chapel Hill-based clothing company specializing in imprinted apparel and promotional products. Manager Deleon Edwards said customers can order specialized products online or order apparel already designed.
Jazzercise of Chapel Hill is currently offering dance workout classes online via Facebook Live, said owner Kena Cotten-Carter. At least two classes are offered daily Monday through Friday at 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., and a full schedule can be found on their website, she said.
The Black Art Depot is an online art vendor selling art, gifts and collectibles that celebrate Black culture, and operates out of locations in Atlanta, Georgia, and Durham, North Carolina. Items available for purchase can be found on their website.
Rumors Boutique, a thrift and consignment store on North Graham Street, is currently open from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.
If you know of other Black-owned businesses in the Chapel Hill/Carrboro community that deserve recognition, leave a comment down below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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