Black Restaurant Week launched No Crumb Left Behind to help black-owned small businesses across the country recover from the pandemic and connect them with resources.
BRW was founded in Houston in 2016 by Warren Luckett, Falayn Ferrell, and Derek Robinson and has since expanded its reach to the Southwest, Southeast, and Northwest regions to increase the number of Black-owned culinary attendees. .
âWith small businesses still recovering from the pandemic, it is important to provide as much support as possible,â Ferrell said. “The No Crumb Left Behind campaign is a testament to our goal of supporting 1,000 black-owned food businesses as part of this year’s Black Restaurant Week campaign.”
Black Restaurant Week LLC emphasizes the importance of systemic barriers faced by black-owned restaurants, such as disproportionate access to business loans, for example.
The University of California at Santa Cruz found that 41% of black-owned businesses had closed since February, compared with 17% of white-owned businesses.
“Small black-owned businesses already have difficulty accessing capital to start a business, and many owners are forced to use their personal savings, personal credit cards, personal assets, or apply for low-interest loans. ‘high interest in opening their business,’ said Robinson.
“In times of economic downturn, it becomes increasingly difficult to operate a business that already has a low profit margin.”
So, in partnership with SoCal Gas, Black Restaurant Week LLC – Los Angeles and several black-owned restaurants will participate in a showcase in August to raise community awareness and help with the recovery process in the event of a pandemic.
âBlack-owned businesses play an important role in sustaining our communities. Food, especially in family restaurants, serves as the social fabric that brings us together, âsaid Cedric Williams, vice president of customer service at SoCalGas.
âThat’s why we’ve been supporting Black Restaurant Week, a major cultural initiative that celebrates the flavors of African-American, African and Caribbean cuisine, since its launch in Los Angeles.
Mark Walker is the owner of downtown Comfort LA late-night pop-up, which aims to serve soul food with a clean approach using fresh, local, organic produce.
Because the business relied heavily on take-out with its downtown storefront location, it created a smoother transition when the pandemic struck.
But every week, the downtown storefront favorite faced challenges, from inflating product costs to advertising and collaborating with third-party food delivery services like UberEats and DoorDash.
âEveryone is in the same boat and struggling to stay afloat,â Walker said. “I found myself driving all over LA for cooking oil and chicken wings.”
Walker was introduced to Black Restaurant Week and the campaign by Alycia Hightower, BWR’s national food and beverage manager, when she came to the restaurant. He said it was his contagious attitude that persuaded him and his business partner Jeremy McBryde to join the campaign. They were presented with resources that they did not know existed.
Walker’s Gas Company offers a resource center for minority-owned business owners with courses and grants on different business aspects.
âThey’ve been a huge help to us over the past year and put us in touch with programs we weren’t aware of that are in our own backyard,â Walker said. “There’s definitely that collective benefit, so the best thing I can say is it’s like family.”
Black Restaurant Week takes place from Friday August 6 to Sunday August 15. For more information, visit blackrestaurantweeks.com.