MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Black business owners across the country are reporting an uptick in business. The belief is customers are actively seeking to support black entrepreneurs.
CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported Tuesday there are calls, from Main Street to Wall Street, to turn the pain of this moment in history into a movement supporting black communities.
New faces are showing up to buy baked goods at Cupcake Cutie Boutique in Mount Vernon.
Owner Miesha Stokely credits a 10% uptick in sales in part to people using lists of black businesses that are circulating on social media.
“I think people are really trying to make an effort to support black business,” said Stokely. “Everyone is starting to recognize, you know, what’s going on in the world is not right, and we need to stand up and come together.”
“Something about this moment feels different. We are getting more people from outside the black and brown community who are saying ‘enough is enough,'” Mount Vernon Mayor Shawn Patterson-Howard said.
Aurora James, a fashion designer, said she noticed major retailers expressing solidarity on social media.
“We’re in a situation right now where we need more than intention,” James said. “We actually need action.”
James started the Fifteen Percent Pledge, a challenge to retailers like Target to dramatically boost buying from black vendors.
“This is how we intend to go from 1% black-owned business products to 15%,” said James. “This is how long it’s going to take us, and this is what accountability looks like for us as well.”
James said corporations are listening and black entrepreneurs are watching.
“Venture capitalists only invest 1 % a year into minority owned business in this county,” said Kristin Parker-Glanville, who owns 3 Some Chocolates in Mount Vernon with her husband, Patrick.
Orders from big retailers would unlock venture capital for expansion.
“We can always scale up, and we can hire within our community. We can make space. We can build a manufacturing and distribution center, which is what we’re actually trying to do so we can scale up and we can place our chocolate in all different locations,” said Patrick Glanville.
The couple said they welcome the spike in business from people looking to support black entrepreneurs.
“Don’t let it be a one-time thing, and then a year from now we forget about it and we’re back to the same old ways,” said Parker-Glanville. “Make a constant effort to support black businesses.”