KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A local woman created an online hub to help Black-owned businesses grow.
The new site and growing Instagram account, both called “KC Black Owned,” feature more than 250 Black businesses on the page directory.
“I noticed that there were not any Black-owned businesses available readily for me to support. So I went on social media, went through Google and was having difficulty finding those businesses. I told my husband, I’m just going to go head and start a page tonight,” said Chelsey M., the founder of KC Black Owned.
Chelsey said the page not only provides a platform to learn about new places and people, but also a support system for new and growing businesses.
Since its creation in July 2020, the page has grown to a following of more than 4,000 people.
“On our directory, we have different categories ranging from entertainment all the way down to food. We are working together to highlight and bring more features to them,” Chelsey said. “It really helps the community be more aware of what they do and what they offer and make it a lifestyle and not just a movement.”
Chelsey said they’re moving from having just a digital footprint to hosting actual in-person events.
The first event is called Juneteenth Jump-Off and will feature more than 17 Black vendors.
“It gives us a chance to showcase Black-owned businesses in ways they maybe haven’t been before. We get to see the community out front and having a good time,” said Nicole Johnson, owner of Our Gathering Studio.
Johnson is not only a participating vendor for the inaugural event, she also helped plan it. She said she understands the need.
“I’ve learned about so many of these smaller Black businesses I didn’t even know existed definitely from the KC Black Owned directory,” Johnson said.
The event will be held at The Nelle, located at 1818 McGee St. in the Crossroads Art District, from 3-7 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free.