How a Raleigh Resident Is Supporting Black-Owned Businesses

  • Johnny Hackett Jr. is the founding father of The Black Dollar Corp., a retail location and on-line listing.
  • The listing offers Black entrepreneurs alternatives to realize publicity and clients.
  • Hackett additionally runs Black Friday Market, which has 90 Black-owned distributors and hosts group occasions.
  • This article is a part of a collection targeted on American cities constructing a higher tomorrow referred to as “Advancing Cities.”

Johnny Hackett Jr. appreciates being a a part of the entrepreneurship group in Raleigh, North Carolina.

In 2019, he began The Black Dollar Corp. to assist Black-owned companies within the state via a retail location and on-line listing.

“We’re trying to give a platform for African American entrepreneurs to be found, to get more exposure, to get more customers,” Hackett, 37, instructed Insider.

Hackett, who was just lately named one of many Triangle Business Journal’s “40 Under 40,” stated he typically companions with town to unfold the phrase about packages and initiatives.

“So many different opportunities exist here in Raleigh,” he stated. “It’s just a place where an entrepreneur can come and get off the ground running. There’s a lot of community support and there are a lot of folks who are invested in making sure that upstart companies do have a chance here.”

Hackett moved to Raleigh simply earlier than he began highschool and later attended North Carolina A&T State University. His background is in info know-how, and he is labored for Xerox, IBM, and Blue Cross Blue Shield.

He first bought into entrepreneurship in 2009 when he based the nonprofit Life Foundation to teach teenagers about taxes, credit score, medical health insurance, and different life abilities.

“I felt like I wasn’t utilizing my strengths to the best of my ability for the community,” Hackett stated. “I started to see how many businesses and organizations didn’t have the tools that they needed to either gain access to funding or open certain doors.”

So he began constructing web sites for enterprise homeowners — and that paved the way in which for a listing.

Becoming Raleigh’s official Black-owned enterprise listing

The aim of #BlackDollarNC, which options an interactive map, is to extend visibility for North Carolina-based, Black-owned companies. Owners can add themselves to the listing without cost, and it now lists about 1,100 corporations. Each day, about 500 folks go to the location, Hackett stated.

Raleigh’s Office of Economic Development and Innovation engaged Black Dollar Corp. to increase attain, and thus #BlackDollarNC turned the official Black-owned enterprise listing of Raleigh. Hackett’s foremost objectives are including extra companies, turning the listing into a social channel, and increasing to different elements of the US.

Retail area offers entrepreneurs a place to promote items 

Black Dollar Corp.’s latest initiative is Black Friday Market, a division retailer positioned in downtown Raleigh the place Black-owned companies with out retail area can promote their merchandise. The retailer opened in December and options greater than 90 corporations promoting clothes, magnificence merchandise, art work, and meals gadgets. The market additionally hosts occasions.

Companies pay a charge to promote their merchandise within the retailer and maintain 100% of the gross sales, Hackett stated. The retailer has been a hit to date, he added, and he plans to open extra areas in North Carolina and elsewhere.

Hosting occasions engages the group

Street festivals that characteristic youngsters’ actions, musical performances, and meals give companies the chance to promote their merchandise. Hackett stated they noticed a massive turnout for his or her May and June occasions and is anticipating a related end result for July’s.

This spring, additionally they hosted a scavenger hunt. Residents may earn factors for posting on social media, attending occasions, signing up for newsletters from the Chamber of Commerce and different organizations, and amassing stickers from areas for a probability to win $5,000 — however the cash should be reinvested in a Black-owned firm. 

“It’s just awesome meeting these folks and talking to them, understanding what their talents are, and then trying to support them as best we can,” Hackett stated. 

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