A woman walks past a mural in tribute to Frederick Douglass on the exterior wall of Slade's Bar and Grill. AP
As the May killing of George Floyd by a white police officer in Minneapolis has fueled a worldwide outcry against racism and police brutality, many on social media are encouraging people to spend their money at Black-owned businesses.
Lists of local retailers, artisans and manufacturers have been circulating on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, helping Black-owned businesses raise their profile at a time when the coronavirus pandemic has ravaged the economy.
When Mahdi Hashemian was looking for a bicycle for his 7-year-old daughter Zeynab last week, the Cambridge, Massachusetts, resident decided to skip his local cycle shops in favor of a Black-owned one a few miles away in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood.
Hashemian, who is set to earn his doctorate from MIT, said he’s been reminded in recent weeks of the outpouring of support he felt from the campus community when President Donald Trump imposed a ban on travelers from Muslim majority countries in 2017, including his native Iran.
"It’s great seeing people realize that where they shop can be another form of activism, that it's a way to put your money where your mouth is,” said Randy Williams, founder of Talley & Twine, a Black-owned watch company in Portsmouth, Virginia. "You’re helping Black businesses become self-sustaining, and that helps the whole ecosystem.”
Sales at Talley & Twine these past few months are up more than 300% from the same period last year, partly because more people are shopping online during the pandemic, he said. But the company was also recently mentioned on a number of social media lists of Black-owned businesses, and its Juneteenth-themed watch sold out before the June 19 holiday commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans, Williams said.
In Los Angeles, cupcake sales and shipping orders on other sweets are up at Southern Girl Desserts after it was also mentioned on social media lists, said Catarah Coleman, co-owner of the bakery in the city's Baldwin Hills neighborhood.
At Slade’s Bar and Grill in Boston’s historically Black Roxbury neighborhood, online gift card purchases and take-out orders are up significantly as the long running soul food and live music venue - which boasted Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali and Martin Luther King, Jr. as patrons in its heyday - is just starting to reopen after shuttering during the pandemic, said Shawn Hunter, the managing partner.
"We’re definitely seeing white customers and customers from outside the neighborhood that we would probably have never seen before,” Hunter said.
But the business boon hasn’t been without growing pains for some companies. Black-owned bookstores have struggled to keep up with a surge in orders, many of them for a handful of sold-out titles on race relations.
In Boston, the owners of Frugal Bookstore, the city's only Black-owned bookshop, say customers are already seeking to cancel orders and complaining about delays and poor customer service. The Roxbury shop, which raised more than $40,000 through an earlier social media campaign to help it weather the economic downturn, said in a note to customers that went viral last week that 75% of the more than 20,000 purchases it’s received are for the same 10 books.
At Spokehouse, a Boston bike shop, owner Noah Hicks hopes the interest isn’t a passing fad and that it leads to more concrete efforts to address the challenges facing Black entrepreneurs, including access to capital.
"People being intentional about their economic purchases is refreshing,” he said. ”But we also want them to help tear down the systems that make it hard for us, not just spend their dollars with us.”
US moves against Chinese tech titan Huawei have had “no effect” on the firm’s aviation business despite several countries taking steps to block its mobile services, a top company executive said on Monday.
The Phase 1 agreement caps 18 months of tariff conflict between the world's two largest economies that has hit hundreds of billions of dollars in goods, roiling financial markets, uprooting supply chains and slowing global growth.
The company has hundreds of retail stores worldwide, including 42 in China that closed or operated with reduced hours at the height of the country's outbreak.
The report was the latest indication of the headwinds to the American economy caused by the pandemic, which has slammed major industries, undermining economic growth, while causing about 26 million people to file new claims for jobless benefits since mid-March.
The number of people in work in Britain has suffered the biggest drop since 2009 and signs are growing that the coronavirus will take a heavier toll on the labour market as the government winds down its huge job-protection scheme.
Emaar Malls reported revenue of Dhs1.657 billion ($ 451 million) in the first half of 2020. With a first-half net profit of Dhs345 million ($ 94 million) the result demonstrates the resilience of the business.
Dubai Land Department, in cooperation with Property Finder, launched the fourth edition of Mo’asher, Dubai’s official sales price index. The base year for Mo’asher is 2012 and the base month for the monthly index is January 2012,