Los Angeles Collegian Online

Vote with Your Dollars for Black-Owned Businesses

Pablo Olivares Pen, Ink, Digital Showing the reality of a grocery store essential worker


With the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement to protest racial violence, and dealing with COVID-19, we are learning the importance of community and just how quickly independent businesses can shutter during a pandemic.

Illustration by Pablo Olivares for the L.A. Collegian/Pen, Ink, Digital/Showing the reality of a grocery store essential worker.

East Hollywood is primarily comprised of POC, persons of color. At a time when we feel powerless against racial discrimination, the government and capitalism, unifying to build a community that supports one another is a way we can empower ourselves. Supporting Black-owned businesses is supporting the community.

Black Americans are not able to accumulate generational wealth, and only 31 percent of Black-owned businesses even receive funding for their enterprise.

Supporting Black businesses can also be considered a form of activism and protest, as they have been historically seen as a threat to white supremacy.

In order to help bridge racial wealth disparity, it is important to note the significant wage gap between Black and white Americans – 75.1% for men and 85% for women, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

East Hollywood’s gentrification has already started and is a very real threat to push out minority-owned businesses, which are already struggling to stay afloat during the pandemic.

The app EatOkra provides a directory of restaurants and lists multiple places to eat within East Hollywood.

To those who cannot afford the luxury of eating out (or in, thanks to the current pandemic), instead of supporting corporations like Amazon, we can easily find Black-owned alternatives. We can patronize them for our everyday household needs.

We can also support by spreading the word and awareness through social media and good old fashioned talking to friends and neighbors.

This is something that we should be doing as a community now and continuously into the future.

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