Today, 27 June 2020, is the first-ever Black Pound Day in the UK. You may have seen mention of it on your Twitter or Instagram feed without really clocking exactly what it is or how the day is contributing to greater equality or you might not have heard of it yet.
So, here’s your guide to what it is and how you can get involved.
Black Pound Day is the brainchild of Swiss – a member of So Solid Crew. His idea has been to celebrate Black-owned businesses and give the Black community both an emotional and financial boost. His campaign is set to be a monthly event designed to encourage people to buy products or services from those companies in the UK.
Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement following the killing of George Floyd, Swiss decided to empower the Black community to build an economy and cut short the cycle of historical and current trauma.
He said: ‘With the recent unfortunate events I could foresee my community plunging into another cycle of historical trauma. I wanted to somehow repurpose that energy into a positive outcome. Black Pound Day was the result of that motivation.’
The day is a way, he explained, of repurposing frustration and actively setting out a framework from which the community can rebuild and be rewarded for its hard work.
‘Black Pound Day is a real solution-based community-empowering campaign and motivating endeavour that will leave a better infrastructure for the next generation to walk into. The day will provide the community with self-pride and a routined spending structure to move forward and close the product to consumer loop.
‘The community will gain greater knowledge to be able to access and invest in black business. The vision of Black Pound Day is to empower the community to create a new economy which will in turn underpin our long-term financial growth and infrastructure.’
According to government statistics, 90% of small businesses in the UK are majority-led by a white person. In a 2018 report, Sandra Kerr, race equality director of Business in the Community said that ‘BAME employees often find they are not able to progress in traditional work environments so may choose to start their own business’.
There are tonnes of Black entrepreneurs out there, but how much do we hear about them? On any given beauty magazine page, how many of the products featured come from Black-owned companies? How about food stalls at markets and festivals? Or Black-published or authored books on literary lists?
Black businesses aren’t things to support just once a month (or just in the wake of the BLM stuff); Black Pound Day seeks to make some noise about the brilliant stuff that the Black community is and always has been doing. You might see more information about cool new businesses in your area, which you can then make a point of checking out any time. In the UK, not everyone seems to get a fair dose of PR and there are awesome products and services out there that you just don’t get to hear about for whatever reason.
Black Pound Day, as Swiss says, is a movement – not a moment.
How to support Black-owned businesses
Yesterday, Swiss posted five simple things we can all do today to support the cause:
How to find Black businesses
Firstly, have a scout on social media using the #BlackPoundDay hashtag. There are loads of businesses being bigged up online today.
Check out the Black Pound Day Directory for services near you.
Read Shoppe Black for interviews and features with Black business owners as well as brands to buy online and product lists for every occassion.
Book mark Travel Eat Slay’s Black Travel Directory for when we can start moving around more easily.
Support Black female entrepreneurs by following Black Women’s Directory on the ‘gram.
Celebrate Black excellence in the capital by making Black Owned London one of your go-to guides.
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