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A Guide to Supporting Black-Owned Businesses

Resources, Platforms, and Movements to Watch

Photo by Tj Holowaychuk via Unsplash

In the aftermath of the recent deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, the Black Lives Matter movement has been gaining widespread press coverage on major news outlets and social media. Several notable figures in politics and pop culture have made calls to action to millions of followers, ranging from former president Barack Obama in this post to Justin Bieber in this one.

Alongside the steps mentioned in this article, activists have also highlighted the importance of showing support to businesses owned by black individuals. Support Black Owned has a comprehensive list of establishments that fall into this group, which you can filter by category or by state. The platform also shows special offers and sales. SBO is also accessible as an app, available on the App Store and on Google Play. As small businesses across the country have been struggling in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, advocates are encouraging people to engage with local black-owned businesses.

According to GQ, a new movement is emerging to make products from black-owned businesses more visible in popular retailers. The goal of the Fifteen Percent Pledge is to “call on major retailers to pledge 15% of their shelf space to black-owned businesses,” grounded in the idea that this same fraction represents the black population within the United States. A petition is posted on their website. 

If you are looking for more suggestions on where to shop, here are some resources from other media outlets with industry-specific lists.

  • Beauty: Check out this list from Allure for hair products, makeup, nail polish, and more by Darian Symoné Harvin and Kaleigh Fasanella.
  • Decor: Danielle Pointdujour’s list for Essence contains baskets, pillows, candles, and other treasures.
  • Health and Wellness: Click over to Shop With Leslie for a list of products to help with mindfulness, physical activity, clean eating, and more.
  • Fashion: Daisy Murray has synthesized this list for Elle with swimwear, handbags, shoes, and the like.
  • Food: This mouthwatering group of brands, put together by Meghan De Maria for Eat This, Not That! includes coffee, desserts, and condiments to name a few.
  • Finance: BankBlack has created a list of banking and investment institutions.
  • Tech: See this list of pioneering electronics companies for DesignNews by Chris Wiltz.

Photo by Tj Holowaychuk via Unsplash


Written by Megan Pontin

Enthusiastic word-collector, avid pancake-consumer, and experienced hammock-lounger. Student at Cornell University.

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