When I walk into Vibez Juice & Vegan Cafe, I feel good. This juice bar and vegan cafe in Jersey City, NJ isn’t just a place to get delicious, healthy food, but it’s also a place that feels positive and uplifting. The owners, Medjine and John “Jube” Altino, wanted to create a welcoming space that has a positive impact on their community. I never had a vegan meal before I went to Vibez. I could not believe how great it was. Vibez is one of my favorite Black-owned small businesses, and like so many others, it deserves to thrive now and for years to come.
I’ve seen firsthand the strain and struggle that Black-owned businesses face. In 2020, those struggles skyrocketed: Black-owned businesses haveclosed at double the rate of white-owned businesses due to the pandemic. For many of them, this holiday season will be critical to their survival.
So this is the season to show up and show love for Black-owned businesses. And many of you are already looking for ways to do that. By October 2020, search interest for "Black-owned business" surpassed 2019 levels by more than 2,100 percent in the U.S. To help drive support for Black-owned businesses, Google and the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. are partnering to make Nov. 27 Black-owned Friday, a day to support Black-owned businesses. When I learned about this initiative through the campaign’s creative agency BBH New York, I was (of course) eager to express those feelings through music; check out the jingle I wrote to get energized to help:
This Black-owned Friday and throughout the holiday season, show love by shopping from Black-owned businesses, sharing your favorites on social media or even by writing your own jingle. Use the #BlackOwnedFriday hashtag to help others discover the businesses you love. Together we can make a big impact.