Friends bolster Black business owners on Instagram
An Instagram account spotlighting NWA's Black business owners has taken off in recent years.
- More than 11,000 people now follow the Instagram account, with about half as many followers on Facebook.
Driving the news: Black-owned businesses have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. One study reports that's "partly because they were more likely to already be in a precarious position," and they were more likely to be located in communities with poor business outcomes.
- It's estimated that Black-owned businesses in the U.S. decreased by 41% between February and April of 2020, the very beginning of the pandemic.
Background: The duo, who've been friends since 2013, began collaborating on an Instagram account — @jazzyjaenwa — in 2018 featuring food, art and fun.
- Followers began to message them for info on Black-owned businesses, Hudson told Axios.
- Because there was no comprehensive list and few resources, they launched Black-Owned NWA.
What they're saying: The accounts have given Black business owners in the area more visibility and helped them network with one another, Hudson said.
- Anecdotally, there's more visibility and connectivity between Black owners and entrepreneurial lenders, like Kiva NWA or the FORGE Community Loan Fund, she told Axios.
Yes, and: Hudson and Merchant are hosting the third annual Black-Owned Business Expo on Feb. 26 from 11am–4pm. It will be held at the Apollo on Emma in Springdale.
- It's free and open to the public and will be an opportunity for people to meet Black business owners and buy products.
- There will be music and food trucks. Hudson said it will be a "market slash mini-party."
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