LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) – 502 Black Business Week started in 2018 with 14 businesses participating.
Today, there are more than eight times that many, and the rapid growth suggests it is an idea long overdue.
“There is this huge wealth gap in this country when it comes to income of Black households versus white households,” marketing consultant and 502 Black Business Week creator Tiandra Robinson said. “And so, one of the ways we’re trying to close that is through Black entrepreneurship. And again, if we don’t have access to certain resources and funding, it’s hard for us to do that.”
A report by the Brookings Institution released in February confirms what Black business owners already know.
When you need money to make money, Black are less likely to find the entrepreneurs they need and more likely to experience financial challenges.
“In order for most black-owned businesses to succeed, they need a wide range of people coming to support their business,” Robinson said. “And I always tell people Black-owned doesn’t mean Black-only. So if your money is green, they need you to come and spend with them.”
The weeklong event also provides exposure for businesses that may not have the budget to market themselves to a wider customer base.
“It’s very difficult, that’s why I promote a lot on social media,” William McCathern, owner of the restaurant Huge Impact at 566 S 5th St. said.
McCathern owns two Huge Impact restaurants in Indianapolis, and has been in business in Louisville for a year. He hopes the event will encourage more people to try his food.
“They’re a little iffy at the door, but once they smell the aroma and look at the menu, they come in and they sit down and enjoy their food,” McCathern said.
A list of participating businesses can be found by clicking or tapping here.
502 Black Business Week coincides with the week of Juneteenth, which is known as the official end of slavery in the United States.
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