Black-owned business see impact of national Blackout Day
A national effort that started on social media months ago, has made its way into many Ozarks businesses.
This national effort started with what’s called Blackout Tuesday. In June, it was a day the music industry highlighted on social media to protest against racism, police brutality, and injustice. It turned into Blackout Day on Tuesday, July 7. It was a day people were asked not to spend money, but if they did, do it at black-owned businesses.
Black Americans spend nearly $1 trillion at major retailers every year, which doesn’t count anyone else of different races supporting. Although there aren’t any total numbers from Julys Blackout Day yet, the recent call to action helped spark conversation and change the narrative of black-owned companies.
“They don’t look at me because of the color of my skin,” explained Della Gardner, Owner of Della’s Beauty Plus More. “They don’t look at me and say this is an all-black store or African American store. They look at me as a store that services the whole community.”
Gardner is among the hand full of black business owners on Commercial Street, in Springfield. She said she saw an uptick in customers from all ethnicities supporting the cause following the national Blackout Day.
Justyn Pippins, a member of Minorities in Business in Springfield, said that’s also been the case within the organization.
“They’re really reaching out, they’re helping us, they’re making donations, they’re protesting, they’re getting out there and supporting the black Business here in the community, and it’s been really helpful,” said Pippins.
Springfield Braiding Company, Owner Champale Love- Hudson said it’s been a ripple effect through the community. She said more people are coming into her business to learn and understand. While the blackout didn’t draw in a large crowd, as it would in larger cities, she said it’s no denying that it did make an impact.
“I think Blackout Tuesday is about putting the spotlight on black-owned business and getting the exposure and recognization we may not have had without the movement,” explained Love-Husdon. “It’s helping black businesses like myself grow, social media-wise, and locally.”
Gardner agreed and said people are now looking beyond the window and going into black-owned business. She said it’s nice to see people coming together to help small business owners, and people of color.
“They’ve really shown support,” said Gardner. " I just feel like as long as they’re giving everyone a fair chance, this is going to work.”
Although the circumstances are not ideal, both owners, Love-Hudson and Gardner said, in a sense, it’s been a blessing to be a black business owner in the Springfield community during such a historic year.