Guest Blog from LoudounShopsBlack.com
2020 has been a lot of things. Among them, it’s been a year of racial reckoning. Racism certainly isn’t a new problem or a new conversation, but many are just now tuning in.
So many have looked on with horror as more Black men and women have been killed. And many are grappling with what they can do, beyond attending a protest or sharing their support for the serious need for change on social media.
We have one suggestion — one small lifestyle change that you can make that can have a big impact in improving the lives of your Black friends, family and neighbors: shop Black. This isn’t a call to only support Black-owned businesses, but it is a nudge to direct more of your spending toward these small businesses.
Just 2% of Black Americans’ buying power goes back into the Black community. A Northwestern University study found that if middle class Black families increased that spending just slightly from 2% to 10%, it would create 1 million jobs in underserved Black neighborhoods. That’s real, economic progress.
But our call, as the board members of Loudoun Shops Black (who, by the way, happen to be Black, White and Jewish), is not just to one group. It’s a call for all Loudouners to direct more of their dollars to Black-owned small businesses. Consider supporting at least one Black-owned business each week, knowing that being intentional with your dollar can have far-reaching effects. This can be carried out long after the protests have quieted, and become ingrained into your and your family’s way of life, as part of how you shop local.
And this is where we can help. We created a tool to make this easier. In early July, we launched LoudounShopsBlack.com. It’s a free, opt-in resource that invites Black business owners who live or work in Loudoun County residents to be listed. And anyone looking for a Black-owned financial adviser, marriage counselor, hair stylist, contractor, dentist or shop owner can easily navigate the site to find one near them.
The site also lists local resources for small business owners, including those provided by Loudoun Economic Development. These resources include loan and grant opportunities, free marketing tools, and help finally moving that business out of the garage and into a storefront or office.
So whether you’re a business owner or a Loudouner just looking to make the most impact with your dollar, consider using LoudounShopsBlack.com to help level the playing field for local businesses.
Learn more ways you can support local Black business owners by following us on Instagram (@loudounshopsblack) and Facebook (@loudounshopsblack). Want your business listed? Fill out the form at LoudounShopsBlack.com, under “Join In.”
Thank you from the Loudoun Shops Black board,
- Brittany Bradley, owner of Luxy Balloons
- Renee Ventrice, co-owner of Cork & Keg Tours
- Ben and Andrea Johnson, owners of Temple Training
- Chequena Morris Hall, owner of Elite Formation Studio of Dance
- Leah Fallon, Loudoun Shops Black co-founder and volunteer
- Aaron Nadler, Loudoun Shops Black co-founder and volunteer
- Danielle Nadler, Loudoun Shops Black co-founder and volunteer