Black-Owned Restaurants and Businesses You Can Support Right Now Looking for a way to help African American businesses affected in your community? Try some of these options.
This year has been trying for all of us, and it's been especially difficult for black Americans, who have had to endure the worst of COVID-19 (according to the CDC, 33 percent of hospitalized patients were black compared to 18 percent in the community) while being largely overlooked in the federal government's initial round of CARES Act funding. The tragic deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd have only served to reinforce the pattern that the black members of our communities are all-too-often placed in disadvantageous or impossible positions.
One simple way to make a positive impact is to patronize and support African American businesses. So many companies around the country have been forced to furlough employees, limit hours or close for good. Supporting these businesses in need can help keep people employed, help them retain their health insurance and ensure that those restaurants, shops and businesses will still be around in 2021.
Black-owned restaurants you can support
Looking for a place to start? The National Restaurant Association says the restaurant industry "has suffered the most significant sales and job losses since the COVID-19 outbreak began." A quick online search can probably help you find a list of black-owned restaurants in your city.
Since the Entrepreneur editorial offices are in New York City, we spent some time on Black-Owned Brooklyn, which provides not only a listing of businesses but stories and photos that offer a richer, fuller understanding of the people behind the brand. For example, you can read about Fanerra Dupree, the co-owner and chef of Black Nile Seafood & Soul Food in Crown Heights, and why she loves being in business with her husband.
You can also find tons of businesses and restaurants to support, including:
- Akwaaba Mansion
- The Bergen
- Daleview Biscuits and Beer
- Lakou Cafe
- Rain Eatery & Juice Bar
- Sofia and Grace Cookie Company
- Zurilee Pizza Bar
Similarly, the Los Angeles Times published a list of 85 black-owned food businesses in L.A., which owes a lot to Kat Hong's Google Sheet on the same topic. Helpfully, the list is sorted alphabetically by neighborhood, which means you should be able to find at least one option near you. If you're in the downtown area, you might try Big Man Bakes, while Dulan's on Crenshaw is available in Hyde Park and Lavender Blue Restaurant Lounge is in Inglewood.
You can find similar articles for Chicago, or smaller cities that also need support like the Twin Cities and Louisville.
Some of our readers even provided some great ideas like BLK RVA, a tourism campaign that highlights and celebrates the Black cultural experience in the Richmond, Va., region including restaurants like Mama J's and Good Tymes.
Black-owned businesses you can support
It's as easy as it's ever been to support and buy from companies outside your community, too. Consider ordering your next book from one of these stores or purchasing beauty products from these companies. Marie Claire published a piece on 26 companies primarily in the fashion and beauty space you can support.
Still not finding anything? Try scrolling through Support Black Owned, which offers a listing of thousands of black-owned businesses across the country in hundreds of different industries. Buzzfeed created a list of cool products to scroll, while NYMag offers a list of beauty supplies.
If you prefer to search for options on your phone, there are plenty of apps you can download. Try Eatokra, a mobile app dedicated entirely to local, black-owned restaurants in cities like New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia, St. Louis and more than a dozen other cities. Similarly, Black Nation lists black-owned businesses you can support in your neighborhood.
It's essential that we look out for one another in difficult times, and supporting the businesses that make our communities unique and vibrant is a wonderful way to do that. Plus, you benefit from the services and offerings these businesses offer — it's a win-win.