Black businesses see increased sales amid racial reckoning
BOSTON (AP) — When Mahdi Hashemian was looking for a bicycle for his 7-year-old daughter Zeynab last week, the Cambridge, Massachusetts, resident decided to skip his local cycle shops in favor of a Black-owned one a few miles away in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood.
At Spokehouse, a bike shop with “Black Lives Matter” painted in large bold letters outside, the pair picked out a simple, white-colored model and had training wheels and a white basket for its handlebars installed.
Hashemian, who is set to earn his doctorate from MIT, said he’s been reminded in recent weeks of the outpouring of support he felt from the campus community when President Donald Trump imposed a ban on travelers from Muslim majority countries in 2017, including his native Iran.
“It seems small," he said of his bike purchase, “but a little show of support can mean a lot.”
As the May killing of George Floyd by a white police officer in Minneapolis has fueled a worldwide outcry against racism and police brutality, many on social media are encouraging people to spend their money at Black-owned businesses. Lists of local retailers, artisans and manufacturers have been circulating on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, helping Black-owned businesses raise their profile at a time when the coronavirus pandemic has ravaged the economy.
According to Google, searches for “Black owned businesses near me” reached an all-time high last month in the U.S. Yelp has also made it easier for customers to search for Black-owned establishments on the restaurant review site, and Uber Eats says it'll waive delivery fees for purchases from Black-owned restaurants through the end of the year.
“It’s great seeing people realize that where they shop can be another form of activism, that it's a way to put your money where your mouth is,” said Randy...