According to the U.S. Census, Black-owned businesses have on average fewer employees and smaller sales receipts compared to other businesses, which contributes to the racial wealth gap. That’s why Mayor Lightfoot is asking residents to "shop Black" on Black Friday and throughout the holiday season.
Ashley Tarver, a shopper browsing at The Silver Room in Hyde Park, says she tries to do her part.
“I try to push my greens to the Black business as much as possible," Tarver said. "Whenever I find out about something new it’s definitely important to share that."
In partnership with the Chicago Urban League and advertising agency O’Keefe, Reinhard and Paul, the City of Chicago recently launched Black Shop Friday to encourage residents to shop at Black-owned business on Black Friday and throughout the holiday season.
The website features links to over 500 establishments around the city. The goal is to help reduce the racial wealth gap.
“We know that the growth of Black businesses is one of the primary ways to reduce the racial wealth gap, because that’s something that can transfer from generation to generation," Chicago Urban League President Karen Freeman-Wilson said.
Eric Williams, owner of The Silver Room in Hyde Park, says, “You can’t have racial equity without economic equity, and this is a way to help give a leg up to some of those Black small businesses who have been struggling, honestly.”
Black Shop Friday features more than 500 black businesses in Chicago, and allows you to shop by category and/or neighborhood.