There are 20,000 Black-owned businesses in Central Ohio that you can support during August’s Black Business Month –if you know where to find them.
The good news is there are several organizations that are stepping up to help.
“We are very excited to see how the city has rallied behind Blackspace Columbus and look forward to continuing our work on a growing scale,” said Blackspace executive director Shalonda Lee.
The directory continually accepts new listings. Blackspace said in a press release that they want it to be open and available to all Black Central Ohio entrepreneurs, artists, and any other businesses with 51% or more Black ownership, including online businesses, non-profits, Black-owned franchise locations and Black entrepreneurs participating in multi-level marketing businesses.
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While the Central Ohio African-American Chamber of Commerce charges a $25 yearly fee to be on their list, it has been around longer (officially since 2018, but there was an informal list before that). As Executive Director J. Averi Frost points out, “There’s an advantage to being on as many lists as possible, especially given the climate.”
She writes that her guide is meant “to provide a free marketing platform to give voices to Black business owners and entrepreneurs.”
Ultimately, though, finding and patronizing these businesses is only one of the things you can do to support Black entrepreneurs in Columbus.
“Buying and contracting with Black-owned businesses is a great start, also thinking about increasing access to opportunity,” said Frost. “It’s not just about your ‘Buying Black,’ it’s also about your spreading the word of the great Black-owned businesses you interact with.”