The NAACP Loudoun County Branch is working to help residents find and support minority-owned, small businesses by partnering with Loudoun Shops Black, an online business directory.
Loudoun Shops Black formed almost a year ago as a grass roots effort to create LoudounShopsBlack.com, a resource for people who want to be intentional about supporting local, Black-owned businesses. The website is a free, opt-in directory that invites Black business owners who live or work in Loudoun County to be listed. And anyone looking for a Black-owned dental office, bakery, financial adviser, marriage counselor, hair stylist, or contractor can easily navigate the site to find one near them.
The site’s creators encourage Loudouners to support at least one Black-owned business each week, resulting in job creation and more opportunity where it’s been lacking for years.
The site LoudounShopsBlack.com also points small businesses to local resources like those provided by the Loudoun County Department of Economic Development and the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce, including loan and grant opportunities, free marketing tools, free business coaching, and help navigating county zoning laws.
The partnership between the Loudoun and Loudoun Shops Black is meant to help reach different audiences, open up more grant opportunities that support entrepreneurs of color and expand their reach throughout the county. A link to Loudoun Shops Black will be displayed on the new NAACP Loudoun County Branch website, and the two plan to host events in the future to give local businesses a platform to get engaged and thrive.
Susan Mitchell, President and CEO of professional services firm Guardians of Honor LLC, said the NAACP Loudoun County Branch’s Economic Development Committee, which she chairs, “is working to provide more opportunities that fill pipelines, develop the workforce, and create financial stability for the Loudoun community and beyond.”
“We are very excited about this collaboration, which will allow residents to find and connect with small businesses owned or operated by people of color,” Mitchell said.
“This partnership is another great opportunity to engage the broader community in our mission to reclaim the promise of a people,” stated Michelle C. Thomas, President of the Loudoun NAACP. “Black entrepreneurship is a critical aspect of the realization of this dream.”
“Loudoun Shops Black is thrilled to join forces with the NAACP Loudoun County Branch to ignite economic impact for years to come,” stated Leah Fallon, a co-founder and one of the board members of Loudoun Shops Black. “At a time when so many are asking what more they can do to support their friends and neighbors of color, this move provides a simple step that can make a big difference in the community. We encourage people to make it part of their family life, and just another way that we can shop local.”