In the current climate, where we see another wave of social consciousness, we find ourselves noticing the ways in which the Black community continues to be disenfranchised. In the current status quo, Black-owned firms apply for financing at equal or higher rates than white-owned companies but are denied at higher rates. The result of this unfortunate reality is that Black entrepreneurs are less likely than white business owners to apply for loans because they believe they would be rejected. This belief is not without precedent, as according to the Federal Reserve, Black-owned businesses are less likely to be approved for bank loans, with an approval rate of 46.5 percent compared to 75.3 percent for white-owned businesses. Real-life infrastructures make being in business as a Black person hard enough. However, a more fortunate reality has taken form in the last year. Black-owned firms are more likely to be located in Covid-19 hot spots, whereas white-owned firms are less likely to be in the most heavily affected areas. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, 440,000 Black-owned businesses shuttered in the US, or 41% of the total 1.1 million, between February and April of 2020. In comparison, only 17% of white-owned businesses closed in the same time frame. This is why supporting Black businesses is becoming increasingly important. Here are 7 local Black-businesses you should support this year:
To begin, we look to Black Love Boutique. BLB is an online Lifestyle Brand that celebrates Black Culture and is completely Black-owned. The founder, La-Tasha, is a Black woman who spent decades in the publishing industry until she decided to create her own brand. She hopes that her designs will “uplift your spirit and make you feel bold and inspired.” Her product line includes t-shirts, hoodies, sweatshirts, baby clothes, home accessories, and more. Black Love Boutique is definitely a clothing brand to keep on your radar.
Next, we look to Bro-Ritos in Hackensack. This food truck’s most popular dish is their “Sauvament Bro!” which is described as “a burrito with rice, beans, ground beef, maduros, cheese, sour cream, and a touch of hot sauce.” This delicious dish can be ordered as a bowl or a wrap. Bro-Ritos represents the Afro-LatinX subculture that often goes forgotten. They operate as a traditional food truck but offer pickup and delivery as well as catering services. Next time you get the chance, be sure to locate this heavenly food truck. As incredible as this food option is, Bro-Rito’s is not the only spot to get mouth watering dishes…
Nearby on Essex Street, Jerk’d Kitchen offers a modern take on Caribbean cuisine. Aside from being delicious, their dishes are served with a side of cultural authenticity which makes every dish more delectable. Their menu includes Pasta Bowls, Ready-A-Ready Bowls, Sandwiches, Organic Salads, and more. Want more good news? They offer catering services as well! This cafe style restaurant should definitely be on your list. Not a huge foodie? That’s alright. There are more Black businesses for you to support outside of the realm of cooking.
Artistry by Bonnie located in Clifton offers premier makeup services for the next time you want to add a little glam to your look. Owner and Makeup Artist Cindy “Bonnie” Bonema shares the aspiration to “make sure you leave feeling beautiful inside and out.” Not only has Bonnie mastered her artistry, but she offers an amazing option for people of color who would like to get their makeup done professionally without being washed out by the work of artists who only know how to do makeup for paler complexions. She also offers lash services for those of you looking for a fast path to long eyelashes. A great pairing with a professional makeup look is a fresh blowout. Look no further for the perfect destination.
In Edgewater is Tina Pearson Salon. This salon is readily staffed and equipped to deal with “natural, wavy, curly, and straight hair”. Clients often describe Tina and her staff as kind and gifted. A client named Amber notably praised Pearson salon for its efficiency and how fast they work. This salon has all the standard services most hair salons offer but offer the additional service of extensions specifically for ethnic hair. Celebrity hairstylist Tina Pearson has been styling hair for over 20 years, 15 of which she spent styling for BET network. Her approach is not only focused on the aesthetic of your hair but its health. This philosophy is why she frequently styles supermodel Naomi Campbell’s hair.
Next time you wish to update your wardrobe, grab a bite to eat, get your makeup professionally done, or style your hair, consider stopping by these top-rated Black operated businesses.
Graphic: Sunny Rhew