Making a seat at the table
By Brynn Schintgen
NORTHEAST WISCONSIN – A local holiday season effort is highlighting small businesses owned by Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) through the “Shop BIPOC Campaign.”
The campaign, sponsored by ColorBold Business Association, is meant to help BIPOC small businesses gain exposure and make people aware of just how many BIPOC-owned businesses there are in northeast Wisconsin.
To participate, simply take a picture at a BIPOC-owned small business or nonprofit, post on social media — Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn — tag the small business and ColorBold (@wearecolorbold), and use the hashtag #SHOPBIPOC.
Two winners will be announced at noon on New Years Eve and will be awarded a $100 visa gift card.
President and CEO of ColorBold Business Association Inc., Kimyatta Ratliff, said it is ColorBold’s third year putting on this campaign, and that it “helps to get more eyes on the businesses and helps people feel welcome in the community.”
She added that there are institutional disadvantages that make it harder for BIPOC entrepreneurs to start and run their businesses.
“[This campaign] supports people who can’t afford to have big sales or advertisements,” she added.
Ratliff stressed that campaigns such as this helps to “foster a community that financially supports you, creates unity, and fills the wealth gap.”
She said that the main benefit of a campaign like this is that it creates exposure for small businesses, and can help them attract new customers who didn’t even know they existed.
Tameika Hughes-Foote, owner of Go Girl Life Coaching, added that, “in our region, it is very hard to even start a small business. There’s not very much support [in the region], but ColorBold helps with getting exposure.”
She also said that the Shop BIPOC campaign fosters networking between different BIPOC-owned businesses, and helps them to support each other.
“This campaign has given me permission to be bold and to inspire other BIPOC people to start businesses,” she stated.
The mission of her business is to “empower women to empower women” and to get women to believe in themselves.
Go Girl does workshops, speaking engagements and will even host a woman empowerment summit next March.
Hughes-Foote said that she found out about the Shop BIPOC Campaign through social media.
“Social media was hard to embrace, but I realized I had to dive into the social piece of the business to get exposure,” she said.
She added that social media has been instrumental to increasing the scope of her business and is very excited to be a part of the campaign.
“It’s very intentional, we want to see each other win. It gives the exposure that we are here; without this kind of exposure, I would not have realized how many BIPOC businesses there really are in the community,” she explained.
A list of BIPOC-owned businesses in the region can be found on ColorBold’s Facebook page, but any BIPOC-owned businesses in northeast Wisconsin qualify for the campaign.
“We just want to give BIPOC-owned businesses a seat at the table,” Ratliff said.