Announcing #BuyBlack Friday and a Season of Support for Small Businesses

By Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer

This holiday season will be immensely challenging for many small businesses, with more people shopping online than ever. Facebook is determined to do all it can to help small businesses not just survive online but to thrive, which is why we are launching a three-month long Season of Support to provide free resources, education and training to help businesses all over the world.

As part of the Season of Support, we’re announcing #BuyBlack Friday in the US – harnessing the energy of the year’s biggest retail day to celebrate and support Black-owned businesses and their communities. Black-owned businesses have been hit especially hard by the pandemic, closing at twice the rate of other small businesses. But we know that millions of people want to help. More than 3.5 million people on Facebook in the US have joined new groups created to support Black-owned businesses since March.

One business owner who has been lifted by the support of loyal customers this year is La’Asia Johnson. At 14, La’Asia was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease and, after having severe reactions to her favorite skin products, she began researching the ingredients and was inspired to make her own all-natural products. Eventually, she started Elle Jae Essentials to sell online, before opening her first store in Flint, Michigan. The pandemic meant that La’Asia had to close her doors temporarily earlier this year, losing 70%-80% of her revenue. But she got creative, hosting virtual events for her clients and using Facebook and Instagram to engage her followers and promote her products. In particular, La’Asia credits her Facebook Group, ‘The Garden’, a closed community of her most loyal customers, for helping her weather the storm.

We want this to be a happy and prosperous holiday season for La’Asia and Black-owned businesses across the US. Starting October 30th, we’ll introduce features in the Facebook app that encourage people to create posts supporting Black-owned businesses. And we’ll be offering interested businesses a toolkit to get involved, so they can amplify #BuyBlack through their own channels. There will also be a range of events and resources within Facebook’s Lift Black Voices Hub and on the Facebook App Facebook Page, including the #BuyBlack Friday Show, which will air live every Friday from Oct 30 – Nov 27 and will feature Black businesses, musical artists and entertainers like stand-up comedian and New York Times best-selling writer and actress, Phoebe Robinson.

To help people #BuyBlack for the holidays, later this month we’ll introduce The Facebook #BuyBlack Friday Gift Guide, which will showcase products from US Black-owned businesses across categories from beauty to home to fashion. And our Businesses Nearby tool will help people find local businesses, including those that have chosen to self-designate as Black-owned.

We will be working closely with the US Black Chambers, an influential network of Black entrepreneurs, to encourage people to #BuyBlack over the holidays – and we are confident that millions of people will want to join in. You can help by Buying Black and supporting Black-owned businesses near you throughout the festive season.

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