The ultimate goal is not just for Black Friday but every Friday.
Chicago is encouraging its residents to support Black-owned businesses during the nation’s biggest shopping holiday with a BlackShopFriday project. The City of Chicago has partnered with the Chicago Urban League in a bid to encourage people to buy online or order from restaurants that are owned by Black entrepreneurs. An online directory of more than 500 Black-owned businesses launched on November 24 at BlackShopFriday.com and will be updated consistently throughout the coming days to continue shining a light on amazing Black businesses throughout Chicago.
The initiative has been continuously backed by Mayor Lori Lightfoot who said “This inspiring partnership allows Chicagoans to discover the hundreds of Black-owned businesses in our city, driving the investment dollars that are needed now more than ever.” The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc across the nation and shops and restaurants have struggled with fluctuating rules and regulations throughout the year.
With less access to capital Black-owned businesses have suffered more than most said the president and CEO of the Chicago Urban League, Karen Freeman-Wilson. In a 2019 State of Black Chicago Report, the Chicago Urban League analyzed U.S. Census data that showed Black-owned businesses all across Illinois have fewer employees and below-average sales receipts highlighting the ongoing racial wealth gap.
Chicago Urban League, an advocacy group founded in 1916 as an affiliate of the National Urban League, worked with Chicago and the advertising agency O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul to create and develop the initiative.