Opinion: Supporting local Black businesses is an important part of being an ally

Though Black History Month has ended, it is important to remember that being a non-Black ally is not just a one-month task. A good way to continue to support the Black community is through shopping at local Black owned businesses and engaging with local Black organizations. Compiled here are a number of local businesses and organizations to support, not only during Black History Month, but year round.

[Photo of The Honey Pot CBD located in downtown Boise.]
Photo by Paige Wirta | The Arbiter

One of my favorite stores has to be The Honey Pot CBD in downtown Boise. Located across from Albertsons on Broadway, this verteran-owned CBD shop has a variety of products for a number of different uses. 

Brown Suga Soul Food is a local food truck that travels around Boise and serves hearty classics from jambalaya to pulled pork sandwiches. Check out their Facebook page to see where they are located and their weekly menu.

Lumos Optical is a local, independent eyeglass and sunglass shop in downtown Boise. They offer trendy frames, lenses and vision tests for low and up-front prices. I have not had a chance to visit Lumos Optical, but a look through their website makes me eager to schedule an appointment and choose a colorful new frame. 

Dunia Marketplace is Idaho’s only non-profit, fair trade retail store with a mission “to provide vital, fair income to artisans by selling their handicrafts and telling their stories.” Dunia Marketplace also educates the community and spreads awareness on the importance of fair trade retail. Their Facebook page offers a gallery of their beautiful artisan items from jewelry to Ethnic food options. 

Carter the Barber is a licensed, traveling barber who is strongly involved with the community. His Instagram offers a look at his work, not only with his clients, but with organizations like Black Lives Matter. 

Located in Nampa, Smoove Wireless pays cash for your used, cracked or locked smartphones. They also sell quality devices at bargain prices, making it easy to get rid of a cracked phone and purchase a new one. Their Facebook page stays updated with what devices they are selling and looking to buy.

Afrosonics is a local Afro-Indie band from Boise, creating an “eclectic mix of styles and influences” in their music. Though tour dates and shows are on hold during the pandemic, they do live sessions on Facebook, and you can find their music on your preferred streaming service. 

The Global Lounge was the City of Boise’s Cultural Ambassador from 2017-2019, and works to preserve, educate and share culture and awareness in the community. They are a non-profit that hosts a number of (virtual) events to inspire diversity and education throughout Idaho. Their website and Facebook page features events, donation links and includes ways to get involved. 

Taking a look through True Joy Cookies Co’s website is bound to make you crave one of their fresh cookie pies. They have a unique menu and no-contact delivery services throughout the Treasure Valley area.You can order from their website and check out their Facebook for news and updates.

Supporting locally owned Black businesses and shops is a great way to engage with the community and work to be a good ally.

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