TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN9) — There’s a relatively new directory of black-owned businesses in Arizona. Currently, at more than 600 black-owned businesses, Blax Friday was created summer of last year.
“Now that black businesses are able to be searched and one concise accessible directory that seemed to be Tucson’s number one issue finding Black-owned businesses,” said Ashely La Russa, the Blax Friday team lead and founder of Roux Events.
La Russa says the purpose of its launch is for the recognition and acknowledgment of Arizona black business year-round; which she says has had a positive reaction.
“Some of the real nice positive notes were from black business owners stating how they were booked how their products were sold out. And especially during this pandemic and especially with economic disparities, having that sense of community and having that sense of support was really the most beneficial feedback,” said La Russa.
The concept stirred from the hashtag Blax Friday, which connected people to new black-owned shops or products. Therefore, when the team started the website they already had a list of businesses and owners to contact and put in the directory.
“And so when they found out that we were finally taking this from social media into an app and on to a website at no charge to them. They were ecstatic. You know, we got a lot of responses and emails to be added,” said La Russa.
The Blax Friday team hopes to reach 700 listed businesses by next month.
“So hopefully we'll get to the point here at the end of 2021 when we have 1000 who knows that's the point. We don't know how many we have,” said La Russa.
La Russa says, also in the near future, the team will be starting a Black paper that focuses on Black ownership and economic development, and a pitch competition for black business owners and entrepreneurs.
“Just reminding the community to continue to shop and support black businesses; and don't let it become a trend of 2020, but let it continue into 2021 and the future,” said La Russa.