It's Black Friday, but thanks to the pandemic, it's looking a lot like Cyber Monday. Online shopping sales are up
across major retailers, but what if you want to buy local?
Until 8 p.m. tonight, Memphians can shop the virtual Black Business Friday event hosted by Cynthia Daniels & Co. From December 11-13, Memphians can shop again at the virtual Black Christmas Expo. Both events are aimed at elevating local businesses but also feature Black-owned businesses from outside the Memphis area.
Click here for today's Black Friday event
and here for the Christmas expo
Related: "Cynthia Daniels: Five easy ways to support black-owned businesses"
"It's also important to spotlight Black brands during this heightened retail season in order to distribute the dollar more proportionately to reflect the diversity in our society," Cynthia Daniels told Good Morning America
on November 24.
Today's event includes 200 Black-owned businesses and is sponsored by FedEx. The Christmas expo will include 100 businesses and is sponsored by MLGW Supplier Diversity.
Local businesses participating in today's event include: Bubble Bistro, Phillip Ashley Chocolates, September Nail Salon, Pop’s Kernel, and Chef Tam’s Soul Food Superstore. Phillip Ashley Chocolates is also signed on for the December event, as are Mo’s Bows and Pardon My Fro.
“We know the pandemic has impacted small businesses in ways few could have predicted earlier this year, which is why we are proud to support efforts that are elevating and empowering entrepreneurs to overcome and grow in spite of it," said FedEx's Rose Flenorl in a press release.
Cynthia Daniels is the Memphis-based event planner behind Memphis Black Restaurant Week and the Soulful Food Truck Festival. In June 2020, she launched her first major virtual endeavor with the Juneteenth Shop Black Virtual Experience.
The organizers said that event generated $1 million spent with 100 Black businesses in one day.
Related: "On The Ground Podcast: Black-owned business gift guide, with Cynthia Daniels and Brandi Hunter"
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Cole Bradley is a native Memphian and graduate of the University of Memphis. Cole's worked locally as a researcher and community engagement strategist and began contributing to High Ground in Jan 2017.