Duval Native Driving Facebook’s #BuyBlack Initiative Supporting Black Businesses

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — It’s become a tradition to buy on Black Friday, but Facebook is encouraging its millions of users to #BuyBlack on Friday.

The idea came from Facebook Marketing Manager Rachael Hawk and her colleague Remi Ray. Hawk is a Jacksonville native and former Digital Marketing Specialist with Action News Jax.

Hawk said, “The intention of #BuyBlack Friday is to harness all the energy that normally goes toward finding discounts and deals on Black Friday toward supporting Black, small businesses.”

A Stanford University study found 41% of Black, small businesses shut down earlier this year as COVID-19 cases surged across the country.

Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said the #BuyBlack initiative is raising awareness and offering critical support.” Sandberg said, “Black, small businesses are closing at higher rates than white, small businesses. That’s just another form of the discrimination. The Black community has faced. And people around us are saying, ‘What can I do?’ And this is one thing you can do.” Sandberg said, “You’re going to buy things for the holidays. Black Friday. You know, the day after Thanksgiving has been a big thing, this is a way for people to identify. I want to support Black, small businesses.”

When the pandemic slowed foot traffic into the Jones and Rose at the Town Center in Jacksonville, company president Christie Jones Bird said sales of their luxury natural bath and body products spiked online.

Jones Bird said, “If you don’t have a Facebook or social media platform right now as a small business or small Black business you’re really missing out because people right now are shopping from home.” She’s operated the brand for 15 years. Her husband Allen Bird is Director of Production.

This is why she supports Facebook using its platforms and power to draw attention to small businesses like hers. She said, “If you don’t have a certain budget marketing budget to really spend a large amount of money for the advertisement, sometimes you may get lost. So, if Facebook is able to provide that little bump to provide more visibility, then I think it makes it easier for more people to actually discover a brand that they never would have discovered beforehand.”

Hawk said, “We’re really hoping that #BuyBlack Friday can live beyond just Black Friday and be something that people think about when they’re making purchases throughout the year.”

For a look at Facebook’s #BuyBlack Gift Guide, click HERE.

If you’d like to get involved in #BuyBlack Friday on Facebook, click HERE.

For more information on a Facebook Elevate, an initiative to support Black and Latinx business owners click HERE.