Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot joins the Chicago Urban League and Chicago agency O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul to announce the launch of Black Shop Friday, a campaign encouraging Chicagoans to shop at Black-owned businesses on November 27, 2020. Widely known as “Black Friday,” the day after Thanksgiving has historically been one of the biggest shopping days of the year.
“Supporting Chicago’s small businesses has been a priority of mine since even before taking office,” said Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. “This inspiring partnership allows Chicagoans to discover the hundreds of Black-owned businesses in our city, driving the investment dollars that are needed now more than ever, and giving everyone a chance to make this new shopping holiday a huge success.”
The Black Shop Friday initiative encourages Chicagoans and beyond to “spend green, shop Black” as they shop online and order food to go this holiday season. The campaign includes a new website, www.BlackShopFriday.com, that will be live on November 24, 2020, and will offer a guide to more than 500 black-owned businesses in Chicago. The site will be updated on an ongoing basis and allows consumers to search by category and/or neighborhood to find the merchandise and gifts they are looking for throughout the holiday season.
“We know that Black-owned businesses have less access to capital and other resources needed to be successful,” said President & CEO Karen Freeman-Wilson. “Black Shop Friday is an important campaign to raise awareness of these challenges, while also providing a mechanism for people who want to be intentional about supporting black businesses.”
In its 2019 State of Black Chicago Report, the Chicago Urban League highlighted U.S. Census data that showed Black-owned businesses in Illinois have smaller sales receipts and fewer employees than other businesses — contributing to a racial wealth gap that impacts Chicago communities. The Black Shop Friday campaign aims to help narrow the wealth gap and strengthen neighborhoods across the city.
Black Shop Friday was developed by OKRP who brought together the Chicago Urban League, the City of Chicago, its client Camelot and the Illinois Lottery, and communications firm Edelman to bring the idea to life. The launch is a part of the Mayor’s new initiative, By Chicago, For Chicago – a commitment to dedicate a percentage of all hours worked towards non-profit, social and cultural organizations and City agencies.
In commenting on the creation of the concept, Aubrey Walker, Executive Creative Director at OKRP said, “Black Friday has been around for a long time, but what has been missing is the Blackness. As we began thinking about things we could do to address racial inequities, we were inspired by other programs that support the idea of shopping at Black-owned businesses. We saw a way to add to that concept by flipping Black Friday into Black Shop Friday and asking people to add one Black-owned business to their shopping cart and buy something really dope that supports the Black business community.”
OKRP partnered with renowned Chicago photographer Parrish Lewis to create assets for the campaign. The Black Shop Friday typeface MARTIN, was created by designer Tré Seals, whose non-violent font was inspired by the posters and signage used during the Memphis Sanitation Strike of 1968. The BlackShopFriday.com website was built by Chicago agency Geletka+, whose Founder, John Galetka, says he was proud to volunteer his firm’s efforts towards the initiative, working pro-bono with OKRP.
The Illinois Lottery is supporting the initiative by donating media in Chicago across multiple media channels including out of home, programmatic, online digital channels and social media platforms. “We are very proud to be part of this new campaign,” said Lottery Acting Director, Harold Mays, “As an avid supporter of the communities we serve by generating essential funding to support education and other good causes, supporting Black Shop Friday allows the Illinois Lottery to help bring attention to this important matter.”
The full list of shops participating in Black Shop Friday will be found at the website www.BlackShopFriday.com.