Co-op shop in the heart of downtown Raleigh will promote Black-owned small businesses

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Aerial Sanders has been in the business industry for eight years and spends most of her days crafting items.

"These are handmade," Sanders said as she held up a sweater. "I sit and knit all day"

She is finally seeing her dream realized thanks to a new endeavor.

"(I've been) wanting to be in downtown Raleigh," said Sanders. "Having my stuff in the shop means everything."

Sanders is one Black-owned small business owner jumping at the chance to be a part of the Black Friday Market pop-up shop that will be located at the corner of Hargett and Salisbury Streets.

The co-op store, spearheaded by the advocacy group Black Dollar NC, will feature 32 small businesses, many of which are Black-owned -- and that's just so far.

CEO Johnny Hackett is taking a vacant storefront and creating a space where the businesses can thrive during a low-point in America's economy.



"We'll make this space lively," said Hackett "If you're supporting this store, you're supporting multiple business owners."

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There are more than 600 black-owned business in the Black Dollar NC directory.



Sanders is a second-generation small business owner and is putting personal touches on the space.

"During the George Floyd riots, my mom's shop was basically devastated. Windows busted out, all her shop stuff was gone," said Sanders.
Murals used to send a message of solidarity are now inside the space.

"There's so many good people here, so many good allies here and we just want to put that message out that we're all in this together," said Sanders.

Black Friday Market will officially open its door on December 18. There will be a sneak peek, open house on December 10 and December 11 from 5:00 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Earlier this year, Hackett launched an app that helps shoppers find black-owned small businesses throughout the entirety of North Carolina.
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