Support for Black-owned businesses has skyrocketed over the past two months
via 10TV / Twitter

The coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating effect on Black small business owners. An analysis by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that the number of active Black business owners in the U.S. dropped by 41% from February to April 2020.

That figure is nearly double the national average of 22%.

By comparison, the number of Asian small business owners dropped by 26% and Latino by 32%.

While those numbers are surely devastating, there is a ray of hope in a recent study published by Yelp. From May 25 to July 10, 2020 there was a historic surge in interest Black-owned businesses on the site.


During that period there were over 2.5 million searches for Black-owned business, compared to just 35,000 during a similar period in 2019.

"In general, most of the spikes we see are tied to holidays and events," Justin Norman, Yelp's vice president of data science, told Business Insider. "We haven't seen a previous movement-based spike to date and we're thrilled and inspired by the continued support and increase in searches for Black-owned businesses."

via Yelp

The surge of interest in Black-owned businesses is most likely related to the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement after the murder of George Floyd. During that period, people also celebrated Juneteenth and "Blackout Day" on July 7.

"In general, most of the spikes we see are tied to holidays and events," Norman said. "We haven't seen a previous movement-based spike to date and we're thrilled and inspired by the continued support and increase in searches for Black-owned businesses."

According to the report, Yelp users were particularly interested in searching for Black-owned bookstores and restaurants. Bookstores saw a 1,437% increase and restaurants a 2,508% increase over 2019.

Officials at Yelp believe this recent change in consumer behavior may be part of a long-term trend of supporting the Black community through business.

"We do expect to see continued elevated interest in Black-owned businesses," Norman said. "There has been sustained interest in Black-owned businesses since the initial peak at the end of May and beginning of June, and this interest is diversifying past the initial generic searches for Black-owned businesses and restaurants into a wider range of business types."

"To me, this signals a shift in consumer behavior and habit that I expect will continue."

via Geoff Livingston / Flickr

The death of George Floyd inspired countless people across America to lift their voices in support of creating a society that treats people of color equally. Much of that has been centered at creating government policy that increases opportunity and reduces police brutality.

But as we know far too well, political change around civil rights has always been slow.

That's why it's wonderful to see that Americans everywhere are taking direct action and helping Black business owners in this time of economic and social strife. One of the most effective ways to help traditionally-undeserved communities is by supporting their businesses. Let's hope the Yelp study is an indicator that Americans are aligning their spending habits with their hearts.

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Anne Hebert, a marketing writer living in Austin, TX, jokes that her closest friends think that her hobby is "low-key harassment for social good". She authors a website devoted entirely to People Doing Good Things. She's hosted a yearly canned food drive with up to 150 people stopping by to donate, resulting in hundreds of pounds of donations to take to the food bank for the past decade.

"I try to share info in a positive way that gives people hope and makes them aware of solutions or things they can do to try to make the world a little better," she said.

For now, she's encouraging people through a barrage of persistent, informative, and entertaining emails with one goal in mind: getting people to VOTE. The thing about emailing people and talking about politics, according to Hebert, is to catch their attention—which is how lice got involved.

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Photo by Phillip Goldsberry on Unsplash

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I remember being baffled so many people were so convinced of Clinton's evil schemes that they genuinely saw the documented serial liar and cheat that she was running against as the lesser of two evils. I mean, sure, if you believe that a career politician had spent years being paid off by powerful people and was trafficking children to suck their blood in her free time, just about anything looks like a better alternative.

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It's been four years and Hillary Clinton has been found guilty of exactly none of the criminal activity she was being accused of. Trump spent every campaign rally leading chants of "Lock her up!" under the guise that she was going to go to jail after the election. He's been president for nearly four years now, and where is Clinton? Not in jail—she's comfy at home, occasionally trolling Trump on Twitter and doing podcasts.

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
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With the election quickly approaching, the importance of voting and sending in your ballot on time is essential. But there is another way you can vote everyday - by being intentional with each dollar you spend. Support companies and products that uphold your values and help create a more sustainable world. An easy move is swapping out everyday items that are often thrown away after one use or improperly disposed of.

Package Free Shop has created products to help fight climate change one cotton swab at a time! Founded by Lauren Singer, otherwise known as, "the girl with the jar" (she initially went viral for fitting 8 years of all of the waste she's created in one mason jar). Package Free is an ecosystem of brands on a mission to make the world less trashy.

Here are eight of our favorite everyday swaps:

1. Friendsheep Dryer Balls - Replace traditional dryer sheets with these dryer balls that are made without chemicals and conserve energy. Not only do these also reduce dry time by 20% but they're so cute and come in an assortment of patterns!

Package Free Shop

2. Last Swab - Replacement for single use plastic cotton swabs. Nearly 25.5 billion single use swabs are produced and discarded every year in the U.S., but not this one. It lasts up to 1,000 uses as it's able to be cleaned with soap and water. It also comes in a biodegradable, corn based case so you can use it on the go!

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