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African American-owned businesses get boost of support from Facebook group during #BlackOutTuesday

Posted at 7:20 PM, Jun 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-03 19:20:04-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — As protests against police brutality and racial injustice continue across the nation an alternative form of solidarity is uplifting the African American community.

What started off as a question, "What is a black owned restaurant I can support today?" led to hundreds of comments recommending those businesses. A social media trend to go silent in solidarity led to a boom for African American business owners.

The virtual day of solidarity prompted plenty in our area to watch, to eat and to shop at African American owned businesses.

A Facebook group put together a list of about 100 businesses in the Big Bend area, getting hundreds of comments.

And while they're are receiving a lot of love right now, the Leon Tallahassee Opportunity for Economic Vitality says a key focus of their mission is keep the same momentum going year round.

Darryl Jones is the director of Minority, Women, Small Business Enterprise.

The Minority, Women, and Small Business Enterprise was created as a way to help minority business owners compete in Tallahassee.

They say, since starting, those businesses have been able to keep their doors open longer.

The owner of Great Plates said Tuesday's alternative demonstration was felt at his restaurant, helping to bounce back from slowed sales due to COVID-19, a simple social media trend brought people in.

"It ended up getting busy as the day progressed," said Luis Guerrera, the owner of Great Plates Owner. "I guess more people were catching the wave. I know for a fact that they seen it on Instagram that they should be supporting black businesses."

Maybe you saw it as well. A black picture, less posts and #blackouttuesday.

"That alone was support in my opinion," Guerrera said. "Whether people came in or not, just seeing people sticking together on social media."

As protests continue locally and nationwide, many people are asking how they can support after the protests end.

The answer: By supporting African American communities and business owners.