Chicago officials announced the launch of Black Shop Friday, an initiative encouraging residents to shop at Black-owned businesses on Nov. 27, the day following Thanksgiving.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot, the Chicago Urban League and Chicago agency O'Keefe Reinhard and Paul said the initiative will launch on the day more commonly known as Black Friday, historically one of the largest shopping days of the year.
“Supporting Chicago’s small businesses has been a priority of mine since even before taking office,” Lightfoot said in a statement. “This inspiring partnership allows Chicagoans to discover the hundreds of Black-owned businesses in our city, driving the investment dollars that are needed now more than ever, and giving everyone a chance to make this new shopping holiday a huge success.”
Black Shop Friday encourages Chicagoans to "spend green, shop Black" this holiday season, according to a release. Shoppers can use the website www.BlackShopFriday.com as of Nov. 24, which offers a guide of more than 500 black-owned city businesses.
"We know that Black-owned businesses have less access to capital and other resources needed to be successful," President and CEO Karen Freeman-Wilson said. "Black Shop Friday is an important campaign to raise awareness of these challenges, while also providing a mechanism for people who want to be intentional about supporting black businesses."
According to a release, the initiative aims to narrow the wealth gap and stregthen neighborhoods across the city, after the Chicago Urban League highlighted U.S. Census data showing Black-owned businesses in Illinois have smaller sales receipts and fewer employees compared to other businesses.
Officials explained that Black Shop Friday is part of the mayor's comprehensive campaign, By Chicgao, For Chicago, which dedicates a percentage of hours worked towards non-profit, social and cultural organizations and city agencies.