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New push in Baton Rouge to support Black-owned businesses this Juneteenth

Updated: Jun. 18, 2021 at 11:39 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - This weekend will mark the first time Juneteenth is recognized as a state and federal holiday. The day commemorates when thousands of slaves found out they were free on June 19, 1865.

In a new push to celebrate the holiday, Baton Rouge business owners are urging people to spend their money at their favorite minority-owned business.

In a recent report, Black Americans only make up 6% of retail business owners and 8 out of 10 Black-owned businesses fail within the first 18 months.

Robyn Selders, owner of Cupcake Junkie, spoke on the benefits that could come if people funneled their money in Black-owned shops.

“Those dollars go back out when we are giving out philanthropically to different organizations, as well as helping the business owner themselves pull themselves up out of poverty or to a better situation, so we can start building generational wealth,” said Selders.

Despite those statistics, there are some who already feel they’ve beaten the odds.

“I think our ancestors would be smiling down on us,” said Harold Briscoe, co-owner of Lavish Life Sneakers.

The shop he co-owns is a high-end boutique that sells the latest and most exclusive footwear, clothes, and novelty items.

Briscoe and his business partners just opened two months ago but they say it hasn’t been easy.

“It takes a lot of investment, it takes a lot of time, but most importantly, it’s having that team on the same page,” added Briscoe.

His purpose, as well as that of others, is to show people just how important Black-owned businesses can be for the city and around the world.

“We want to bridge people together. It starts with Black people but we want to bring all people together, to be honest with you. It’s not about Black and white all the time. I think we have a lot more in common than what we talk about. We always talk about our differences and we are here to show that we have a lot in common as people in general,” explained Briscoe.

Here are ways you can support Black-owned businesses:

  • Start With Visibility
  • Ask What They Need
  • Be Intentional
  • Share With Your Social Circles
  • Build a Relationship
  • Invest In Them
  • Write & Share a Review
  • Share a Seat at The Table
  • Provide Equal Access To Funding
  • Offer Mentorship and Resources
  • Understand Internal Structure Differences
  • Coaches and Patrons
  • Include Them In Your Daily Life

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