New York City Launches Shop Black NYC, A Black-Owned Business Directory

New York City created a great way to highlight all the Black-owned businesses in the city.

The New York City Department of Small Businesses Services created an online business directory, titled The Shop Black NYC, which lists over 3,000 Black-owned businesses across the city, New York Amsterdam News reported. Sponsored by the SBS’s Black Entrepreneurs NYC, the website filters the businesses by borough – Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, The Bronx, and Staten Island. It was created in 2019 and launched strategically on Juneteenth.

Supporters of the website called the Shop Black initiative “positive” for the community, entrepreneurs, and the general economy. Black people make up 22% of the city’s population but only 2% of the city’s small businesses. Commissioner of the Department of Small Business Services, Kevin D. Kim, says the initiative is encouraging for aspiring Black business owners.

“When we support our Black-owned small businesses, we support the entire city,” Kim said. “The Shop Black NYC directory serves to boost Black entrepreneurship by encouraging New Yorkers and tourists alike to shop Black and shop local, which in turn allows our neighborhoods to grow and prosper as new businesses take root.”

Before Kenneth Ebie, BE NYC’s Executive Director & Chief Development Officer, came on board, there was no central list of Black-owned businesses in NYC. This list will create revenue for these businesses through social media promotions and growing relationships with borough chambers of commerce and community engagement at events and activities around the city.

While Shop

Black NYC is the first official state list, it isn’t the first of its kind. A couple from Brooklyn, Anthony and Janique Edwards, created something similar called EatOkra, a mobile directory for Black-owned businesses and restaurants, launched in 2016. Essence reported the app hosts an online community of more than 350,000 users with a 5-star Apple App Store rating.
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