TAMPA, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – With Juneteenth just around the corner, a local organization is encouraging people to visit Black-owned businesses during the month of June.
“We just have a wide variety of businesses that we’re proud to showcase because sometimes people just think of black-owned businesses as restaurants and we’re so much more than restaurants,” said Kiva Williams with the Tampa Bay Excellence Challenge.
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This June, the Tampa Bay Black Excellence Challenge returns, encouraging people to explore Black-owned businesses through a game of bingo.
“Hairdressers you can visit, your favorite restaurant, a place to have lunch, you can hire a personal trainer and one thing you can do that doesn’t cost money is leave a positive review on their social media page,” said Karimah Henry with the Challenge. Tampa Bay Black Excellence.
And as Juneteenth approaches, organizers Kiva Williams and Karimah Henry are spreading the word.
“They love being able to see new businesses, especially ones they’ve never heard of, or even thought would exist,” Karimah said.
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Some bingo boxes in the challenge are “order food from your favorite barbecue place”, “visit a pharmacy”, and “purchase an item at a beauty, cosmetic or personal care store”.
“There are only a small handful of local dermatologists and estheticians who really specialize in black and brown skin,” said Sky White.
Sky White owns Shades Face and Body Bar in Brandon. that specializes in healing black and brown skin. She says it’s important to support local businesses like hers.
“We’re at a point in 2022 where we’re really getting to the point of inclusivity, being able to support these Black-owned businesses in a tangible way,” White said.
There are multiple prizes for the bingo challenge. including four tickets to a Rays game, but White says it’s not about the prizes, it’s about supporting an important part of the Tampa Bay community.
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“Spend money with them because these are small-owned businesses, run by a single mom like me, or run by family members. Some restaurants have been in families for generations,” White said.