As protests for racial justice continue across the country and around the world, so has the push to support black-owned businesses.
The conversation is widely shared through the hashtag #BlackOwnedBusiness and recently has gotten a lot of traction as protesters use social media to spread supportive messages and highlight black-owned businesses and entrepreneurs, in their areas.
TheBBplug.com is an online marketplace exclusively for black entrepreneurs and business owners nationwide. It was launched June 5.
“We are aiming to create an interactive, black-owned online shopping mall,” said Ashanti Surratt, TheBBplug’s owner and CEO.
After spending some time on the site, I’d compare it to a black-owned Amazon, Fiverr, with a mix of Angies List.
It’s a black-business marketplace where African-American entrepreneurs and vendors are able to sell products and services directly from TheBBPlug website.
At the click of a button, buyers are able to access thousands of black-owned businesses and services throughout the country.
TheBBplug is free to shop and free for business owners. However, they do ask for a 7 percent commission from each transaction.
The website offers perks similar to the bigger e-commerce companies, such as vendor reviews, seller verification, customized products, auctions and many more features that please both sellers and buyers.
I purchased rosemary sage and a few candles from a vendor called Amazing Creations Products.
I like that the vendors have full control of their stores and, as a customer, I was able to view ratings, which made me feel more confident about my purchases.
“Our mission is to have a healthy circulation of positivity and financial support within the black community by encouraging, networking and purchasing from one another,” said Surratt.
“We ultimately want to be responsible for opening up some brick and mortar locations, because many black entrepreneurs are unable to get adequate funding to own buildings for their businesses and often work out of their homes or sell products online only.
“Having more black-owned brick and mortars in towns and cities will create a sense of belonging for African Americans in the areas they reside.”