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Facebook is behind an initiative — #BuyBlack Friday, to help small Black-owned businesses thrive this holiday season. For nearly 30 days, beginning Oct. 30 – Nov. 27, 2020, Facebook will launch a series of events that will promote business owned by Black people.
Black Friday is the last Friday in November following Thanksgiving Day. It kicks off the Christmas season and holiday shopping frenzy. Ultimately, discounts and profits from the sales on Friday after Thanksgiving were profitable, and from an accountants standpoint, the phrase Black Friday was coined.
The COVID-19 Pandemic
This year the holiday shopping season will be different. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus a pandemic in March. The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is airborne and can be spread to others when a person comes in contact with the discharge of saliva or excretions from an infected person’s nose. That is why health officials stress the importance of social distancing and wearing a mask that covers the nose and mouth to help slow the transmission of the virus.
Once infected, a person may experience mild to moderate upper respiratory problems, depending on underlying medical conditions. Over eight million Americans have been infected, and more than 220,000 have lost their lives due to the non-discriminating virus.
The coronavirus pandemic has caused hardship for all business owners worldwide. Many businesses that were considered staples in the community closed down because of declining sales. With people being mandated to social distance and businesses unable to welcome customers at full capacity, it seemed inevitable that some companies would be forced to close forever. However, Black-owned businesses have been disproportionately affected at a higher rate — going out of business two times more often than other companies.
Facebook’s Series of Events During #BuyBlack Friday
Facebook is stepping up to make this holiday season a success. The celebration of #BuyBlack Friday will provide a much-needed platform and exposure for struggling businesses owned by Black people. Shoppers are still expected to take advantage of deals by physically going into stores. However, social distancing is still mandated in most states, so there will likely be a decline in foot traffic. This leaves the lane wide open to provide a promising sales forecast for businesses that can also cater to customers online.
Facebook is geared up to help small Black-owned businesses thrive with the implementation of:
- Facebook app features designated to amplify Black Entrepreneurs.
- #BuyBlack Friday Tool Kits that can be requested from Facebook.
- Events and resources.
Facebook plans to make the timeline informative and festive with a daily #BuyBlack Friday Show that highlights Black-owned businesses and provides entertainment from comedians and musicians. They have designed a tool that will assist people with categorizing and locating nearby Black-owned businesses. They also have a tool in place that allows businesses to self designate as Black-owned.
Since the onset of the pandemic, over 3.5 million people have joined groups on Facebook to support businesses owned by Black people. Facebook’s COO, Sherly Sandberg, expects millions of people will help Black entrepreneurs thrive this holiday season.
Written by Sheree Bynum
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware
Facebook: Announcing #BuyBlack Friday and a Season of Support for Small Businesses; Sheryl Sandberg
JCK: Facebook Is Introducing The #BuyBlack Friday Series
The Balance: Why Is Black Friday Called Black Friday?
STAT: WHO declares the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic; Helen Branswell
The New York Times: Covid in the U.S.: Latest Map and Case Count
Featured Image Courtesy of Black Enterprise’s Google – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Pickpik’s Google – Creative Commons License