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Black-owned businesses see uptick in customers

Published: Jul. 7, 2020 at 8:10 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - July 7 marked #BlackOutDay2020, a day where Black Americans plan to spend their money at Black-owned businesses or not at all to show the power of the Black dollar.

Some Tallahassee business owners tell WCTV their business has been picking up as the attention to giving back to Black-owned businesses grows nationwide.

“We didn’t see that traditional spike due to the COVID and the quarantine so in our world it was pretty slow and then thank God for the attention from the community and the give back to the black business,” said Eric Smith, owner of Smoothie Time.

At Great Plates on Jackson Bluff Rd., owner Luis Guerrero says the energetic Black Lives Matter movement has played a part in the uptick of business.

“The whole movement they were immediately responsive. They’re tagging their friends on the post like if we’re going to eat out we should go to Great Plates,” said Guerrero.

Although the pandemic has slowed down businesses elsewhere, Guerrero says the demand at Great Plates has increased to the point they need to hire more employees.

“Cause now the workload is increasing, however, we have a small staff, a small operation. We have more and more customers and we still can only cook certain amount of food at a certain amount of time,” he said.

For online Black-owned businesses, like Vegan Vybz, social media can play a role in more traffic.

Kadija Christie, owner of Vegan Vybz, says a list circulating on social media has put her business on the map.

“Vegan Vybz was listed on that list so I believe that definitely after the protests just the protests that also helped with the increase in traffic,” Christie said.

Christie says people should continue to give back to local Black-owned businesses, not just one day a year but anytime they can.

“Blackout Day it’s definitely a good concept but I think that it should be a continual practice not just something that we just do just this one time.”

The business owners add it’s important to help out local businesses during the pandemic because it can make a difference between them staying open or them having to shut down.

Copyright 2020 WCTV. All rights reserved.

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