Amid pandemic and protests, there’s a push to support black-owned businesses in KC

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — There’s a new push to get you to spend your money at black-owned businesses.

Carlos White always had a gift for cooking and a passion for people. So when the opportunity to open King’s Table Soul Food, located at 5932 Prospect Avenue, presented itself five years ago, he jumped on it.

“I’m all for making a difference,” he said.

The black family-owned business has been thriving ever since — that is until the pandemic hit nearly three months ago.

“It was devastating. There were some slow periods,” White said.

Now as the country has shifted its focus to police brutality and what some are calling the “racism pandemic,” there’s a new movement aimed at helping black-owned businesses. It’s called Buy Black Kansas City.

There are an estimated 2.6 million businesses owned by black people in America. Yet supporters of Buy Black said many people can’t name a black-owned business in their community.

This initiative looks to bring awareness to then.

“There’s a lot of people who are stepping up and wanting to be allies and people who want to help the black community, especially right now,” said Bria Jones, a local influencer on social media.

Jones is using her platform, which has tens of thousands of followers, to encourage people to eat, shop and support local black businesses.

“If you’ve done your research on systemic racism and how sometimes black companies aren’t given the same things as other companies, there’s a lot we can do to help elevate their economic situation,” she said.

Jones said this is a tangible way to show solidarity with the black community. She believes taking actionable steps will lead to a better future for everybody.

“I think by going to these places and seeing how talented and incredible these black businesses are, it would help break some of the stereotypes people have,” Jones said.

White said all are welcomed at King’s Table.

“If you want to spend your money with the black community, spend your money in the black community. I’m all about that,” he said.

If you want to support local black-owned businesses, there are two apps you can download for free to learn more: Black Privilege and KC Soul.

You can also find a list of black-owned businesses here.

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