National Effort to Support Black-Owned Businesses This Saturday

NBCUniversal, Inc.

You've heard of Black Friday and Small Business Saturday. This weekend will bring "Dig In Day."

It's part of a national movement to support Black-owned restaurants hit hard during the pandemic.

Big Ray's BBQ in Allen credits their food, service and customers for surviving the pandemic.

"We just stayed to it and stayed pushing and the community supported us, the community rallied around us, and we bounced back," said Jonathan Cotton, co-owner of Big Ray's BBQ.

While most small businesses don't survive a decade, 8 out of ten Black-owned businesses fail within the first 18 months and the pandemic made things worse.
Black owners closed their doors at more than twice the rate of their white counterparts. Businesses declined 41%.

Minorities often face challenges getting loans, aren't always located in high-traffic areas, and don't have marketing tools to drum up business.

To help, Pepsi Co. wants to drive at least $100 million in sales for Black-owned restaurants.

Chef JJ Johnson, a ‘Dig In Day’ ambassador spoke with NBC 5 to talk about the importance of the movement that helps small business owners.

'Dig In Day' Saturday encourages everyone to search out Black-owned restaurants through partner apps, dig in and upload your receipts.

"Without getting too emotional… it is incredible," said advocate Taylor Redmond.

Redmond has made it a mission to lift up Black-owned businesses in DFW on her own, taking to Instagram and TikTok to drum up support.

"That's what ordinary people can do. You can support the businesses that you go to obviously by spending your money but share the word! I've gotten so many comments and messages and I've met business owners through this and they are so thankful," Redmond said.

"When you see people that don't necessarily look like you, that come in and support you, it gives you a good feeling inside and it that just helps us keep moving and keep moving forward," Cotton said.

Both stress, hashtags, and efforts like 'Dig In Day' are not about rejecting any other business owners.

"It's just saying, 'Hey, despite all the disadvantages, despite all the problems and hurdles that you may have to jump through, we were still able to get this going and getting a service out to the people,'"Cotton said.

"These are small business owners in your community. Black, white or other and I'm going to do my best to make sure businesses that are working hard and maybe have a little bit of a tougher road to walk that I can clear something out of their way to make sure that they sustain," Redmond said.

You can learn more about the national Dig In movement by clicking here.

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