Closing the racial wealth gap is a driving force behind a common phrase you may have heard: support Black businesses. And since the holidays are often about buying gifts and taking advantage of post-Thanksgiving deals, it’s a perfect opportunity to find new ways of supporting those small businesses while finding a great deal. There are several ways to find businesses to support, complete with databases and sites that help you locate Black-owned businesses in your area and across the country. Here is a list of ways to support Black businesses this holiday season.
Editor’s Note: Many of the stores mentioned are based in the U.S. but similar principles can be applied in Australia to support local Indigenous-owned businesses.
Catch up on comics
The first Black women-owned comic shop, Amalgam Comics is located in Philadelphia and is dedicated to representation and inclusion in comics. Started by owner Ariell Johnson, the idea for the shop was born while Johnson was still attending undergrad at Temple University. In 2015, the shop opened and has been thriving ever since. You can choose anything from Marvel comics to Moonshot’s: The Indigenous Comics Collection as a gift for the nerd in your family. You can shop online at their site.
Enjoy your coffee
Blk & Bold was started by co-founders Pernell Cezar and Rod Johnson, and is the first nationally distributed Black-owned coffee company. It was started to support communities of colour, as Blk & Bold dedicates 5% of their profits to supporting youth around the country. Pernell and Rod set out to “equip young people with tools to live their best lives and overcome familiar unfortunate circumstances by turning a daily ritual, enjoying a cup of coffee and tea, into a means of giving back.” You can order loose leaf teas, whole beans, and ground coffee to ship anywhere around the country from their site.
Dress to impress
First-generation American designer Mapate Diop started his company in 2018 to express his connection to the clothing his mother would when he was a child. Coming from Nigeria, Diop would wear traditional West African patterns called “Ankara” and is inspired by this part of his heritage and upbringing. You can find West African patterned face masks, hats, tops, and more at weardiop.com.
Repaint your room
Clare is a home decor paint company created by founder Nicole Gibbons — an interior designer who noticed that “no paint brands were offering an easy or convenient way to shop for paint.” Gibbons wanted to fix that, and started Clare as an online store where you can find the perfect colour to be shipped to your home. There’s a Clare Colour Genius quiz to help you find the right paint, or you can shop all the colours (and Nicole’s picks) online at Clare’s website.
Search on Etsy
Owned by sisters Njeri Makeda and Jamilah Parker, baking company Munchy Junkies makes cakes, cookies, brownies, and all your baked goodie favourites. Starting just this year, the duo call themselves the “Baking Goddesses serving up goodness.” You can find their tastes on Etsy, but there’s a lot more to find: Etsy has compiled an extensive list of several Black-owned businesses selling goods on their site. This list has jewellery makers, stationary companies, interior designers, vintage clothing fashionistas, and more from Black creators and owners.
Choose a database
Support Black Owned is a database for finding Black-owned businesses in your area, where you can click on the city near you to find companies that suit your shopping needs. Buy From a Black Woman is another directory, specifically of Black women-owned businesses to shop. Shop by category, including accessories, beauty, and Black Friday and holiday deals. Whatever you’re looking for, this site makes it easy to find the Black women-owned business to provide.
Scroll through social media
Many businesses use Instagram and Twitter as their main sites for sales. Search the hashtag #buyblack for newer businesses that are just starting out, or follow the hashtag as a great way to discover new products on your feed.