Find & Support Black-Owned Businesses With These Apps & Websites
Following the police killing of George Floyd in May, protests broke out across the country. We encourage everyone to continue this fight in 2021 by marching in local protests, signing online petitions, donating, and calling elected officials, but there's another way to fight systemic racial inequality, and that's by putting your money where your mouth is. Make a commitment to support Black-owned businesses in your area.
Over the summer, Twitter users began asking their friends and followers to share their own or their favorite Black-owned businesses. While sifting through social media responses is one way to find spots to support, there were a lot of tweets containing the phrase "Black-owned businesses." So if you're looking to find a Black-owned business quickly — perhaps in time for take-out dinner tonight — there are also many useful resources online and in the app store that can help.
Ahead are top-ranking websites and apps that allow you to locate and patronize Black-owned businesses in your area. Download these apps and visit these websites to find restaurants, stores, and a variety of different establishments all founded by Black entrepreneurs.
Launching September 1, SunUp's goal is to enable all of us to collectively support and empower the black community. Founders Christiana Greene and Braxton Brown came up with the idea for SunUp in the summer of 2019 at a local bar. The inspiration for the name, however, came from an uncomfortable experience Brown had in a former sundown city while on a road trip to Texas in 2010. For those who may not know, sundown cities were places where non-white people weren't allowed to be out after sundown from the late 1800s through the 1960s. SunUp, acts as the opposite of that, aiming to be "the beacon of light to support the black community to lead our generation and the next."
New Yorkers can now use the newly released SunUp app to search for Black-owned businesses in their area. Various tags allow you to refine your search so you can find exactly the type of business you're looking for. Black-owned businesses can be featured on the app by filling out a form on the SunUp website. There, anyone can sign up to receive updates about the app as well. Who knows, it could soon be coming to your city.
Launched in June 2020 by founder and CEO Kristyn Potter, Chez Nous Guide is a volunteer-run inclusive and intersectional home for businesses, artists, and organizations that are owned and operated by historically marginalized people. The guide's mission is amplifying POC, women, and LGBTQIA+ voices and bolstering their projects. This is done by providing users with resources that help them support diversity, shop inclusively, and travel ethically. On Chez Nous Guide's website, you'll find city guides as well as listings in the following categories: eat, drink, community, health + safety, music & culture, shop, travel, services, events, and jobs.
WeBuyBlack is the largest online marketplace for Black-owned businesses. In its description on Facebook, the company writes, "Some say we are the Black Amazon, but their job is to make us dependent, our job is to make us independent." To use WeBuyBlack to find items you need from Black sellers, search the product in the "What do you need to find" window at the top of the site's homepage. You can also browse items in categories including books, clothing & accessories, jewelry, children & toys, art & collectibles, health & beauty, home & living, games, and holidays.
Black-Owned Brooklyn is a digital publication that features a "curated guide to Black Brooklyn's people, places, and products," so it's a great resource for New Yorkers. Husband and wife team Tayo Giwa and Cynthia Gordy Giwa, who founded the site in 2018, also document Black life in Brooklyn more broadly through the publication. In a mission statement on the site, the Black-Owned Brooklyn team writes, "We seek to lift up and preserve rich stories that are often overlooked in gentrified Brooklyn and encourage you to learn more about — and participate in — the creativity, beauty, and self-determination throughout our community."
On Black-Owned Brooklyn, you can read write-ups of Black-owned businesses in Brooklyn in the food and drink, home and design, style and beauty, and health and wellness spaces, as well as history and culture pieces. The website also has a frequently updated map showing the businesses it features.