A Guide to Finding & Supporting Black-Owned Businesses
August 7, 2023
August is National Black Business Month in the United States, and a time to acknowledge the importance of Black-owned businesses to the Black community, as well as the national economy. During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, a study found that Black business owners were more likely to be denied financial aid than their white peers. This is just one instance in our country’s long history of racial inequality that plagues every facet of our society, including the financial system. Black business owners face a disproportionate number of challenges, and according to Federal Reserve data, they are denied loans at twice the rate of white business owners. Due to the devastating lack of government aid during the pandemic, the number of active Black-owned businesses fell 41% between February and April 2020. Putting the spotlight on Black-owned businesses, especially during Black Business Month, is crucial to building the necessary year-round support that these businesses need. To get started, there are many resources to finding Black-owned businesses online, as well as ones that are local to you.
Founded by Mandy Bowman in 2016, Official Black Wall Street is a digital platform that connects patrons to Black-owned businesses that sell everything from products, services, and food. Those looking to eat at a Black-owned restaurant can search by location and find one that’s local to them. Official Black Wall Street is also conveniently a phone app that features geolocation technology and map searches to make finding Black products and services easier than ever.
The Nile List is a digital community that connects consumers with Black-owned brands online. Using this search engine is simple: enter the category of what you’re looking to buy, i.e. “makeup” or “toys,” and the Nile List will pull up a list of businesses that sell these products and are Black-owned. All the companies listed on this digital community are vetted by the Nile team to ensure that the businesses are active and Black-owned. The Nile List was founded by Khadijah Robinson, a graduate of Spelman College, University College London, and Harvard Law School, who has supported the business endeavors of the Black community for her entire life.
During the explosive global protests in 2020 sparked by the killing of George Floyd, Jon Laster found himself wanting to create lasting change to support the Black community. A year later, he founded Blapp, a marketplace app that makes it easy to find and patronize Black-owned businesses across the United States and select locations globally. The map function allows app users to view a list of Black-owned businesses that are local to them, then filter by categories to find the service or products they’re looking for.
EatOkra is the go-to app for discovering Black-owned restaurants. Founded by Anthony and Janique Edwards, EatOkra services 500,000 people, has a national database with nearly 10,000 listings, and collaborates with major brands like Apple, Uber Eats, Pepsi, Bacardi, and more. The app quickly and reliably connects diners to culinary creators and restaurants, creating equal opportunities for Black business owners all over the nation.
This comprehensive online marketplace sells beautiful, contemporary products from Black-owned businesses. Created by a mother-daughter duo, Post 21 is a flawless curation of gift-worthy items from art and jewelry to luxury candles and keepsake toys. Every item sold on Post 21 is so thoughtfully designed and crafted, you’re not likely to leave the site without purchasing something for yourself.
About the Author: Alice
Alice Mendoza is a copywriter and blog writer based in Los Angeles. She began writing for a baby brand while on maternity leave, and realized she had found her niche. Today, she writes exclusively within the baby space, using her BFA in Creative Writing and her own experience as a mother to guide her. When she’s not working, you can find her chasing down her toddler, going on walks around the neighborhood, or watching reality TV.