“Buy Black Friday” in Support of Black-Owned Small Businesses on Nov. 27
A social media campaign launched by Facebook and the U.S. Black Chambers of Commerce aims to support the Black-owned businesses that have been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
Jasmine Gordon describes her personal style as “girly” and “retro,” while her sister Angelique Gordon tends toward a bohemian rocker look.
Together, the fashion-loving duo shares the belief that clothing can inspire confidence in all women, regardless of their size and socio-economic background.
That’s why the sisters opened their downtown Salt Lake City boutique, A La Mode SLC, in 2016. Through their styling services and wide clothing selection, they aim to help women sized 0-26 look and feel their best.
The Gordon sisters not only bring a unique service to the Salt Lake City market, they also bring a unique perspective as business owners, among the roughly 3% of business owners nationwide who are Black women.
But that number has contracted during the Coronavirus pandemic, dropping from 3.1% in March 2020 to 2.7% in July, according to a U.S. Small Business Administration report. Overall, Black-owned business have been hit especially hard by the pandemic, closing at twice the rate of other small businesses.
That’s why Facebook and the U.S. Black Chambers of Commerce have launched the “Buy Black Friday” social media campaign to support the Black-owned businesses that help make up the fabric of our communities. This holiday season, shoppers are encouraged to #BuyBlack and share posts supporting these businesses with the hashtag #BuyBlackFriday.
“When small businesses flourish, so do their communities,” says James Jackson III, founder and executive director of the Utah Black Chamber of Commerce and manager of Zions Bancorporation’s Supplier Diversity Program. “So, when supporting a business that is Black-owned, you strengthen the Black economy by helping to close the racial wealth gap and create more jobs.”
Beyond their economic value, diverse businesses elevate ideas and enhance the cultural landscape, Jackson says.
“From a minority-owned business, you can learn new perspectives of the world, which could bring a new level of thinking, innovation, and even raise competition, which is a benefit for everyone,” he says.
For A La Mode, the early months of the pandemic were an especially tricky time. In March, they were in the middle of remodeling the store and refining their online sales process when they decided to temporarily shutter the boutique to promote community safety.
Since reopening in May, the entrepreneurs have worked to carefully balance the needs of their employees, clients and community.
“We’ve been trying to find balance and fairness through the pandemic,” Jasmine Gordon says.
In a challenging economic year for small business owners and Black-owned business owners, #BuyBlackFriday and #SmallBusinessSaturday are a chance to help support the small businesses that are the heartbeat of our communities and backbone of our economy.
“When you buy Black, not only are you celebrating diverse communities and helping them become more visible, it also builds the overall local economy,” Jackson says. “Diversity adds dividends.”
Kallee Feuz is a Public Relations officer for Zions Bank in Utah.