Supporting Black-Owned Businesses in Akron & Some Other Ways to Get Involved

Lily Pillsbury 

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, there is another movement that is bringing systemic change to our country. After the recent deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and many more at the hands of police officers, community members have been flooding the streets supporting the movement and protesting against the police. 

The demand for deep and structural change is growing rapidly, and there are a multitude of ways that communities can come together to create positive change at a local level. At Colu, supporting small businesses is a large part of our mission, and this includes black-owned businesses which need your help now more than ever. 

Colu has recently partnered with Akron, Ohio, in an effort to emphasize the importance of supporting and shopping at black-owned businesses. Using our app and Akron’s City Coin, residents can sign up and start earning rewards by shopping at selected local businesses. More about this exciting launch in Akron can be found here. Supporting the small businesses that are in your community not only help motivate black communities, but also boost financial stability of the businesses and the community.

If you are not located in Akron, this website will help you find the black-owned businesses that are in your local neighborhoods. Additionally, Forbes came out with a list of 75 Black-owned businesses that you can support from your home. 

Many groups who are leading these peaceful protests are asking for solidarity and support moving forward in order to bring about concrete solutions and policy changes. Besides supporting black-owned businesses, there are various other ways that you on an individual basis can help to show allyship and solidarity with black communities. Here are a few to get started: 

  1. Educate Yourself. It is important to know your facts and to understand the history of Black communities in our world. Evanston public library created a reading list to help further understand the complexities of this movement. In addition, SURJ also created a reading list specifically for white communities to further understand our positioning in the movement. 
  2. Donate Money. If you have the ability to donate, many BIPOC organizations all over the country are doing work every day to create change and are asking you to help out and donate to bail funds, therapy funds, and other initiatives to uplift and support Black communities. You can find a list of organizations as well as other resources necessary within this National Resource List. 
  3. Have that Conversation. Although it is difficult to step outside of our comfort zone, this is a critical time for privileged communities to have difficult and powerful conversations with family members and friends. Additionally, get out and vote every chance possible to create strong policy changes. 
  4. Take Action. Call and email the local officials in your town to advocate for the movement. A step-by-step guide on how to approach this can be found here. 

The change that this movement is demanding will come from grassroots organizations and local communities coming together, which is what Colu is doing in Akron and hopefully many more places.

July 5th, 2020