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Celebrate Black-Owned Businesses, History, and Diversity in February

January 30, 2024 8:34 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

This February, The Local Crowd (TLC) Monadnock invites you to celebrate Black-owned businesses, Black history, and diversity. We’re teaming up with the American Independent Business Alliance and partners throughout North America to promote Choose Black-Owned Month.  Together, we can build stronger local economies that are diverse, inclusive, and equitable.

Why Celebrate Choose Black-Owned Month?

Many community members want to support diversity where they live.  One study found that when Black-owned businesses were identified as “Black-owned,” those businesses saw increased customer visits. We want to help make it easier for our community to Choose Black-Owned in the Monadnock Region.

According to Pew Research, just 3% of U.S. businesses were identified as Black-owned in 2020.  That’s even though Black adults comprise 12.4% of the overall population.  Removing this disparity leads to increased employment and economic growth.

Black-owned business owners receive less financing than other races.  In 2022, the Federal Reserve reported that 35% of white business owners received all the funding they requested from a bank, compared to 16% of BIPOC (Black, indigenous, or person of color) business owners.  This lack of capital holds back business revenue growth and employment.

Building a more inclusive economy leads to more community wealth for all.  One report from McKinsey & Company noted that closing the wealth gap could add $2 – $3 trillion of annual growth to our national economy.

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How Can You Celebrate Choose Black-Owned Month?

Choose Black-Owned Businesses

Support Black-owned businesses like Yahso Jamaican Grille in Keene and New England Sweetwater Farm & Distillery in Winchester. Tell us about other Black-owned businesses you’ve discovered in our region and throughout the state. Please email us!

In addition to eating at Yahso Jamaican Grille, you can support the restaurant owner’s pursuit of establishing the Keene Multicultural Center.  Gail Somers partners with Monadnock Arts Alive to launch a fundraising campaign to help establish the center.  She envisions a welcoming space that connects the community with economic and cultural resources.

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Gail shared, “The Keene Multicultural Center will be unique in that it will help existing and new residents build social capital through access to meaningful culture in the form of arts, a shared space that builds community, and an incubation of community resources in a culturally sensitive way.”

On March 2, starting at 6 pm, Yahso will host their first Togetherness Festival, a fundraiser for Keene Multicultural Center featuring music, spoken word, food, and good vibes. Stay tuned for more details!

The more dollars we spend at Black-owned businesses in our community, the more dollars recirculate in the local economy, boosting job growth, charitable giving, and overall prosperity.

Choose Black-Owned Business at Locally Owned Businesses

Ask your favorite locally owned businesses if they carry products made or grown by Black-owned businesses.  Monadnock Food Co-op in Keene plans to call out Black-owned business products with shelf signs.  Look for these signs when you shop at the Co-op throughout February.

Support Diversity

On February 23, the Keene Family YMCA will join other YMCAs nationwide to promote their #WeWearBlack campaign.  Staff, members, and guests are invited to wear black to symbolize hope, awareness, and togetherness.

“To be a welcoming community and ultimately a thriving community, we need to celebrate and embrace our diverse people and cultures,” said Dan Smith, CEO of the Keene YMCA.  “At the YMCA, we support Choose Black-Owned Month as one small way of doing so.  We see it as part of our commitment to becoming an anti-racist multicultural organization.”

The Keene Y continues this work year-round by hosting the Monadnock Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging Coalition (MDEIB). MDEIB works to promote and develop our region as a welcoming and inclusive place for all — including BIPOC individuals who live, work, and visit our community. MDEIB was formed in 2021, guided by the City of Keene’s Racial Justice and Community Safety Report. Partners include community members, businesses, organizations -- and maybe you?

Learn More

Make a Nomination: DEI Impact Award

Celebrate Black History Month

The Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire will host the Elinor Williams Hooker Tea Talks both in-person in Portsmouth and virtually each Sunday in February and March 10, and April 21. This year’s theme is “A New Deal for A Great Society.” On February 4, the first discussion in the series centers on the Granite State government’s role in expanding economic opportunities and prosperity for all.

View the Full Series

Thank you to this year’s Choose Black-Owned Month Monadnock Region partners: Keene Family YMCA, Monadnock Food Co-op, TLC Monadnock, The Monadnocker, and Yahso Jamaican Grille.  And thank you! 

Stay tuned for Choose Black-Owned Month updates and how we’re collectively building stronger local economies that are diverse, inclusive, and equitable.

The Local Crowd Monadnock - Keene, NH

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