7 Ways you can support a Black-owned business in Boston, right now.
by Farrah Belizaire, Founder and Managing Director of LiteWork Events
Published: June 3, 2020
We are living in a time of great turmoil. Amidst a national pandemic that has claimed tens of thousands of lives, our country is simultaneously attempting to make sense of COVID-19 and mourning the loss of countless Black Americans who have been killed at the hands of law enforcement. With COVID-19 disproportionately affecting the Black community, and in the wake of several protests following the deaths of victims like George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonny Taylor, there is no greater time than now to show solidarity with the Black community. Economic empowerment is just one way you join the cause.
Please note that this list is in no way exhaustive, so we encourage and welcome your comments and suggestions.
1- Order from a Black-Owned Restaurant
Especially true of Boston is the fact that the city’s ethnic minorities represent a variety of cultures from across the Diaspora, and it’s definitely represented in the food! In 2018, I wrote a list of 20 Minority-Owned Restaurants Black Professionals and Millennials Should Experience in Boston and many of these restaurants are open for business during the pandemic!
You can also download our list of 70+ Minority-Owned establishments in the Greater Boston area.
The city of Boston has created a listing of local restaurants that remain open for take-out and delivery service during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis so you can check to see which are open!
Earlier this year, a group of local restaurant and bar owners came together to form the Black Hospitality Coalition with a goal to help preserve the few gathering spaces for the city’s many Black residents – neighborhood bars & restaurants. To learn more, visit their website.
Here’s a few places we’ve had the pleasure of working with over the years!
NOTE: While not a restaurant, The Urban Grape in the South End is an award-winning wine, beer, & spirits store.
BONUS: A-Butter by Aaron offers unique almond butter flavors to local communities, with an emphasis on health eating in all neighborhoods. A-Butter makes almond butter with natural ingredients and no palm oil.
For more information, visit: www.abutterbyaaron.com.
2- Purchase apparel and wear your support proudly
There are many local creatives who have designed apparel to highlight the presence of community and Black culture right here in Boston. Here’s a few of our favorites!
The below companies also produce Black-owned masks and face coverings!
SchnelleCares is a Boston, MA based, woman-owned and black-owned small business founded in 2020 to help with the nationwide mask shortage. SchnelleCares has donated over 100 masks (and counting) to essential workers and Boston based organizations serving communities in need such as Fenway Health, Rosie’s Place, Whittier Street Health Center, and various pop-up food pantries in the Roxbury/Dorchester community. Additionally, a portion of mask sales proceeds will be donated to City of Boston fundraising efforts for COVID-19 relief.
3- Support Black authors, narratives and history
Frugal Bookstore is a Black-owned community bookstore located in Roxbury with a passion of promoting literacy within our children, teens and adults.
They’ve got great books at incredible prices, and you can shop online.
4- Explore a Black-owned skincare product
Culturally sensitive skincare products can be hard to come by. Luckily, Boston can boast these Black female entrepreneurs whose companies are using natural ingredients to provide women of all skin types with nourishing products.
5 – Attend a virtual event curated by a Black creator
During these difficult times, we are having to find new ways to stay in community with one another while also practicing safety measures. Here’s a few social event curators that have designed digital experiences to lift our spirits and provide some much relief and resources.
LiteWork Events is a social event platform that was established in 2012 to create opportunities for young professionals of color to meet, interact and connect.
Visit our upcoming events page to find out more information about the next virtual brunch!
TRILLFIT ® is a Boston-based boutique fitness studio and inclusive wellness brand owned by Heather White, who is changing the face of fitness!
TRILLFIT® curatesoriginal hip-hop inspired workouts for active millennials of color and allies who want to workout in an environment that’s fun, inclusive, and set to the illest soundtrack.
Visit their page to the complete line up of TRILLFIT @ Home Offerings.
Afrobeat Fit hosts inclusive Sweat Session where movement and music derive from Africa. Sweat Sessions are for anyone and everyone who loves music, dancing and a good sweat! Since 2016 Afrobeat Fit has hosted over 500 Sweat Sessions across the U.S. and now offers online sweat sessions!
The Collier Connection
The mission of The Collier Connection is to connect Black people to information, resources, experiences, and each other. In 2020, TCC is launching Boston While Black– a membership network of programs, events, and a digital platform that guides Black grad students & professionals on how to find their tribe, grow their network, navigate the city, and have fun.
Visit their website for more information.
Women with Purpose
The mission of Women With Purpose is to offer unparalleled skill-building opportunities and resources to equip women with the essential tools to advance personally and professionally.
Visit their website for more information on the next virtual workshop.
The National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) Boston Professionals, is a 501(C)(3) non-profit org dedicated to the academic & professional success of Black/ African American engineering students and professionals. Founded in 1988, the Boston Professionals chapter of NSBE offers professional development & career advancement opportunities to it’s members and the broader community.
Visit their website to read more about upcoming events.
Click here to learn about more industry-specific organizations supporting Black professionals in the Greater Boston area.
Linda N. Wells, M.Ed., E-RYT is the Wellness Warrior. Before pursuing a career in promoting wellness. Linda was a Program Director, Youth Worker and community organizer. As a “Wellnesspreneur” in the Boston area she works with individuals to release toxic habits and identify the precursors to their burnout. She continues her activism by working with community-based groups to raise awareness of health and wellness through free and low-cost programs. Learn more about Linda and her live sessions on online.
6 – Do business with a Black-owned Bank
OneUnited Bank began almost 50 years ago with the opening of Unity Bank & Trust in Boston, Massachusetts and is now the nation’s largest Black-owned and FDIC insured bank, including branches in Roxbury and Dorchester.
OneUnited is committed to increasing financial literacy within our communities through workshops and events – like the OneUnited Mural Project, and by offering affordable financial services to meet the needs of urban communities – like UNITY Savings and UNITY Visa secured credit card to rebuild credit.
To learn more about OneUnited, visit their website.
7 – Seek a Black Healthcare Provider
As essential workers, Black healthcare providers are on the front lines to provide much needed services to our communities. Here are a few resources to identify healthcare professionals of color.
Dr. Charmain Jackman founded InnoPsych, an online directory and resource to local mental practitioners, as a simpler and faster way for people of color to find therapists of color. She also wanted to facilitate the process for therapists of color to launch their own private practice in order to increase the pool of therapists of color in the field.
Learn more about InnoPsych on their website.
Well Minds Psychiatry & Counseling
Dr. Nicole Christian-Brathwaite, MD clinical interests and expertise revolve around delivery of mental health care to seriously ill children, adolescents, adults and families both locally and globally. Significant experience in working with and treating individuals from diverse backgrounds. Devotion to educating the medical and lay community about disparities in mental health, creating cultural formulations and confronting biases.
Sage Family Dental
A commitment to providing exceptional dental care to those living in and around her hometown community led Dr. Jean-Marie to open Sage Family Dental, a well-organized practice that emphasizes a family-like environment. Learn more about the practice on their website.
Dartmouth Street Vision Center
Dr. Everett Sabree is a graduate of the New England College of Optometry and worked out of the Dartmouth Street Vision center for over 25 years. To learn more about the practice, visit their website.