People who want to support Black businesses, but don’t know where they are, should check out the 2019 Philadelphia Black Biz Directory, published by Beech Community Services. The directory includes over 400 African-American, African and Caribbean businesses in Philadelphia.
The Beech Companies, Inc., a leader in community economic development in Philadelphia, published the directory in an effort to support and promote Black businesses in the city. The directory is available online and can be downloaded at http://www.beechinterplex.com/bc_black-business-directory.asp.
“The businesses in the directory contribute a lot to the economic development of our communities in terms of employment,” said Beech CEO Dr. Ken Scott. “It’s imperative that we support them. Supporting Black-owned businesses supports Black families, raises the income level of the community at-large, and is the first step towards self-sufficiency and real group empowerment. The directory is founded on the Kwanzaa principle of Ujaama – cooperative economics – which should be practiced on a daily basis. Much thanks to Santander Bank for supporting this project and Progressive Images Marketing Communications for producing the directory on our behalf. ”
In 2017, Beech published the North Philadelphia Black Biz Directory and received overwhelming response from businesses wanting to be included. This spurred the creation of a citywide directory said Scott. “Promoting Black-owned businesses in Philadelphia is an ongoing effort to harness the economic power of its Black residents,” he explained. “There was an overwhelming response from businesses from throughout the Delaware Valley and beyond interested in inclusion in the North Philadelphia Black Biz Directory, which is why it was decided to expand to include the entire city in 2019. Primary to the support of Black-owned business is identifying them – where they are and what they offer. Community development organizations like Beech Community Services, can lead the way in organizing the community around Black economic empowerment.”
Listings in the directory were free and include business and financial services, health and wellness providers, clothing and accessories, art galleries, caterers, contractors, funeral homes, hair salons, barbers and braiders, groceries and food specialties, clubs and venues, restaurants, travel and tourism, tech businesses, media and more.
“I was tired of hearing people say we don’t have many Black businesses, decided to prove them wrong and Dr. Scott agreed,” said Marilyn Kai Jewett, who researched and produced both directories on behalf of Beech. “We have a variety of great businesses in the directory. During my research, I found three shoe repair shops, a tattoo shop, a hat shop, florists, chiropractors, and of course, all types of restaurants. We even have two healthcare providers that have over 20 locations between them. I did heavy networking, walked the business corridors and met a lot of hard-working Black entrepreneurs from throughout the Diaspora. Our African and Caribbean brethren have a strong representation in Philly’s business community. I’m encouraged by the people I met. People will no longer be able to say they don’t know where the Black-owned businesses are located in Philly.”
Jewett said contractors, tradespeople and home-based businesses are hard to find, but she expects the next edition to include more of them. Unlike other directories, it also includes information on business resource organizations that provide assistance to entrepreneurs and those looking to start a business.
In addition to the Beech website, the directory will also be available online on City Councilperson Cindy Bass’ and State Sen. Sharif Street’s social media and other websites. So, put your money where your mouth is and Buy Black every day, because Black Money Matters.
Located on Cecil B. Moore Avenue in the heart of North Philadelphia, the Beech Companies have become a model of community rebuilding through collaboration using social enterprise strategies. Its overall mission is to provide the community with direct services that include commercial and economic development, neighborhood revitalization, small business assistance and community venture endeavors.