Rapid launch of new Black Business Directory for PEI.

A business directory listing more than two dozen Black-owned businesses in Prince Edward Island was quickly put together and launched just days after a call for listings was launched.

“We were planning to launch it a bit later. And then we thought, ‘You know what? Let’s do it. Why are we waiting? “, said Tamara Steele, executive director of the Black Cultural Society of PEI.

“So we put out the call for entries, I think, three days before it went out and we got 23 entries straight away.”

The directory was posted on the society’s website on February 1, marking the start of Black History Month.

The company has added a few more businesses since that initial launch and continues to grow the online listing. It includes a wide range of businesses, including event managers, photographers, graphic designers, financial advisers, chefs and bakers.

Steele said the directory is a valuable marketing tool for businesses.

DJ artist Jane Blaze has joined the Black Business Directory. (DJ Jane Blaze)

“There’s a great buy local culture here on PEI, but ‘Buy local’ often means ‘Buy from businesses you know who owns them or who works there,'” said she declared.

“Often, Black-owned businesses don’t fall into that category for many Islanders.”

In addition to listing them in the directory, the company’s social media manager visited the companies to promote them on the company’s social media channels.

Many businesses have recently started and are run by newcomers who may not be eligible for government support, Steele noted. This makes community support all the more important.

The directory is a way to support the community, says Tamara Steele. (Radio Canada)

“Now is a good time for people to recognize how they spend their money, where they put their money, what communities they support, what messages they support,” Steele said.

“I think it’s just a great way to continue that Black Lives Matter attitude.”

Companies wishing to be listed in the directory can register on the company’s website.

For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to stories of success within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project that Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.

(Radio Canada)

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