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Black Lives Matter Launches Website to Promote Black-Owned Businesses

blm_letterheadAs part of its ongoing efforts to empower the African American community, the Black Lives Matter organization has launched a new website promoting black-owned businesses around the country.

The Backing Black Businesses website is an interactive database that identifies businesses that are owned by African American entrepreneurs in one’s local area.

“Black-owned business have long been a staple in the Black community providing jobs, economic security and somewhere for us to go and feel seen and safe,” said BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors. “In these uncertain times, we need these places more than ever.”

There are roughly 26.5 million businesses operating in the U.S., but with this interactive tool, socially-conscious shoppers can find black-owned businesses in a wide array of categories from food and beverage, to health and beauty, to lifestyle and entertainment.

Users can locate a black-owned business by searching the database by address, city, state, or zip code. An interactive map is then populated with locations of businesses in the general vicinity of the location provided.

As many as 93% of online experiences start on a search engine like Google, but BLM, in partnership with J. Walter Thompson New York, hopes to become “the biggest and most easily accessible black businesses database in the country.”

According to Brent Choi, Chief Creative Officer of J. Walter Thompson New York, the ultimate goal is to “reduce the racial disparity that exists in economic well-being through the promotion of black business ownership.”

So far, the website has collected information on more than 300 businesses and plans to have an even more diverse array of black-owned companies by the end of 2017. Right now, the majority of the businesses represented on the site are located in Los Angeles and New York; however, as more and more business owners visit the website and submit their company for inclusion, the database should grow rapidly.

To add a business to the website, a business owner must simply fill out a short form, including basic details about the business, and submit it to BLM online.

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