Momentum for supporting Black-owned businesses remains one year after George Floyd's death

Akilah Davis Image
Tuesday, May 25, 2021
Black-owned businesses see strong support 1 year after Floyd's death
Black-owned businesses saw a surge in sales after the murder of George Floyd as people were desperate to combat racial injustice.

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- Black-owned businesses saw a surge in sales after the murder of George Floyd with people desperate to combat racial injustice.

This reckoning spurred a movement where supporters fought back with their pocketbooks and one year later that momentum continues.

"Like every day email notifications would go off with a notifications of a new business, a new business, a new business signing up. That doesn't typically happen," said Johnny Hackett with Black Dollar Corporation.

A global lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic didn't stop Black business owners from recognizing the magnitude of the moment.

Johnny Hackett runs Black Dollar NC, an online directory of Black-owned business across the Tar Heel state.

A remarkable spike in website traffic and support snowballed into the temporary opening of Black Friday market around the Christmas holiday. Sales surpassed what was predicted and landed this business owner a contract spanning several years in downtown Raleigh on West Hargett Street.

Tool helps shoppers find Black-owned small businesses in North Carolina

"Retail department store for entrepreneurs, small business owners looking for a home to sell their products. Business owners that do not have a physical location," said Hackett.

He calls this success a salute to Black business owners' determination. It's something Kwame Molden understands.

"We sold one watch on our website for a whole year," said Springbreak Watches CEO Kwame Molden. He and his business partner Maurice Davis are Fayetteville natives, E.E. Smith High School and North Carolina A & T-graduates who launched their company in 2013.

"One watch represents Pine Forest. We have the Ponderosa. We still don't have the E.E. Smith one. All our watches are named after experiences and areas in the Fayetteville area," said Molden.

Business was steady until the movement to support Black-owned businesses following George Floyd's murder sent sales through the roof. Now, you can find the collection of ten unisex watches on the shelves of one of the nation's most premiere retailers.

"We're in every single Nordstrom retail store. 50 retail stores have our watches. 100 of them have our watch bands," said Molden.

It's success they knew they could achieve. It's left them and others optimistic about what lies ahead.

"The future for Black Friday Market? Bigger spaces, more locations, but keeping the downtown Raleigh location as our flagship spot," said Hackett.