Black History Month Marked with Challenge to Buy from Black-Owned Businesses

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A local company has issued a challenge to the community in honour of Black History Month.

Black Business Can is challenging residents to buy products and services from a Black-owned business each day in February.

CEO Maxine Shelton says Black Business Can will be spotlighting local Black businesses and organizations on social media in an effort to raise awareness.

She says they'd like to see the challenge reach beyond just Windsor-Essex.

"We are looking to connect, promote, support, equip and advance Black business and programs. We're already allowing listings from Windsor and Essex County all the way to London and Chatham. We're just reaching out to businesses and populating them so that we can support as many as possible."

Shelton says many Black businesses need a little bit of extra help.

"We know that with financial capital there's some systemic issues in terms of Black businesses accessing financial capital, but there's something that I find very important as well, which is social capital. Through this project, that's what we're hoping to see some gains in. We want to make sure that there's a network of individuals supporting establishments."

She says the goal is turn the effort into something much bigger.

"We're hoping that this will be a start, not just only in February, but this will be a start of people being aware that small things like this, being aware of it and acting on it, can actually help move us forward. We hope to see that month after month."

A list of local Black-owned businesses and organizations can be found at blackbusinessontario.ca.

Those who make purchases during the month of February are asked to post them on social media with the hashtag #blackbusinesscan2021.

— with files from AM800's Patty Handysides