Editor’s Note: We asked a group of small business owners to recommend local, women-led businesses with social justice missions who might benefit from Buy Local consumers. Here is the start of that list. Please use the comments field to add other ideas from entrepreneurs you support and offer a note about their social justice passion.
About Planting People Growing Justice Press and Bookstore — Based in Saint Paul, Minnesota, Planting People Growing Justice (PPGJ) publishes, promotes, and distributes books that encourage and empower Black children to find joy in reading.
by Nilvia Brinkley (she/her), creator of goodaroundtheglobe.org, @GATG
I do not personally celebrate the end-of-year holidays, partly because of the focus on consumerism. I do not want loved ones to think I am buying something because I have been pressured by social norms to do so, but because I love them and I am thinking about them.
To me, shopping also became burdensome with the pandemic.
Then came outrage from the tragedy of George Floyd’s murder. I saw so many people hurting, struggling to live alongside people who do not value all lives.
As someone who struggles with depression, I realized that shopping had become a band-aid that I used to cover up pain.
I am not the only one. Amazon reported $108.5 billion in sales in the first three months of the pandemic. I did not want to contribute to that incessant demand, especially when so many small business owners were struggling. According to TracktheRecovery.org, 9.4 million small businesses in the U.S. closed during the pandemic.
There are many hard-working business owners who are doing good for their communities, but no one knows about it. If people knew more about entrepreneurs, I wondered, would they support them? Can we match shoppers with business owners who align with their values?
As a web designer, I started to develop a digital directory and news source to showcase small business owners who give back to their communities. The intent is to make it easier for people to buy from businesses whose owners care about similar issues.
We can all be more than consumers. We can be people who support our neighbors.