If you're searching for ways to support and uplift black-owned businesses in Chicago right now, you don't have to look far. Organizations like Chicago Black Restaurant Week, Black Owned Chicago and Black People Eats have made it their mission to connect locals with these resources for years. And organizers say that they need the community's backing now more than ever before.
"You can support a black-owned business by being intentional," says Tanikia Carpenter, the founder of Black Owned Chicago. "Everything you need in Chicago can be found in a black business. Need an accountant? We're here. Need a manicure? We're here. Need some good food? We're here."
And if you're not able to donate financially, order takeout or book a service to support a black-owned business, Carpenter says there's one thing you can do that won't cost a cent: "If you don't have money to spend right now, you can always share a social media post or use your voice to advocate and promote black businesses and movements."
Take a closer look at Carpenter's organization and four more local groups you should know below.
Black Owned Chicago: Launched in 2016, Black Owned Chicago helps locals and out-of-towners alike find and support black-owned businesses throughout the city, including hair stylists, art galleries, designers, restaurants and mechanics. Users can connect with businesses in their neighborhood (and beyond) and leave reviews to boost visibility.
Black Chicago Eats: Shining a spotlight on black food and culture, Black Chicago Eats shares news stories, interviews and business profiles with its audience, including this helpful roundup of black restaurants that are operating during the lockdown.
Black People Eats: Though this effort started right here in Chicago, it has grown to represent cities across the country, from Atlanta to Houston to Baltimore. Start by taking a look at their comprehensive directory of black-owned Chicago restaurants as well as this delivery and takeout guide. Their Instagram account is a must follow, too.
Black Food & Beverage: What started as a passion project to bring attention to black food and beverage professionals in Chicago has grown into an industry-wide resource. Earlier this month, the group also launched its own virtual book club, complete with live Q&A sessions with authors; follow their Instagram account to see what they're reading next.
Chicago Black Restaurant Week: The annual event may have come and gone, but the organizers behind Chicago Black Restaurant Week point folks to black-owned businesses all year round. Check out the group's Instagram account to find out where they're eating and drinking while supporting black-owned restaurants and bars in Chicago.
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