Since 2018, Black-Owned Syracuse has been the #1 source for Black entrepreneurs in Syracuse and surrounding areas. We have maintained the a business directory that list “only Black-Owned, Syracuse-based” businesses, brands and organizations. We host annual events that provides opportunities for local Black entrepreneurs and community members to come together. We are working on creating projects and programs that center the local Black community.
BlackOwnedSyracuse.com is the digital version of our work in action. Its mission is to provide an online space that highlights local Black ownership and encourages engaging, thoughtful, and in depth dialogue around Black wealth, community and activism.
Why We Are Fundraising
…(& Why It’s Important to Self-Fund)
In December 2019, we started a GoFundMe with a goal of $10,000. This is our first round of fundraising. So far, we have been able to update our directory to a new platform, cover monthly website maintenance fees, create content for our website relaunch and social media (our goal is to hire contributors soon!), and start progress towards one of our other projects: Black-Owned CNY Marketplace.
While we plan to eventually apply for grants and similar opportunities, it’s important that we are able to self-fund our efforts. Because of our values and dedication to unapologetically celebrating the local Black community, we have unsurprisingly been met with resistance publicly and privately. We want to always be able to speak the truth about our community in a way that are sometimes jeopardized by certain type of business relationships. Below are direct links on how to donate.
WAYS TO DONATE
Donations help us maintain our website, directory and build capital for future projects, programs and events.
Our goal is $10,000 and we are half way there!
If you want to send a “one-time donation” but don’t want to send via our GoFundMe, you can cash app us! We are asking for at least $10 donation, but no amount is too small.
Our current membership rate is $5 a month. The money received from our patreon membership will go directly towards are efforts to create content monthly and eventually hire local contributors.
Below you will find a list of our vision, mission, values, what we’ve done and our plans for the future.
Create spaces online and offline that center, protect and elevate Black people in ways that creates prosperity, social change, and opportunities to spread love, encouragement, and knowledge that benefits us all as a whole
Celebrate, support and highlight local Black entrepreneurs and other Black community members by sharing their stories, offering quality business services, event programming, community programs and financial assistance
We value the ability to create spaces on and offline that are unapologetically Black, safe, honest, engaging and uplifting. We value relationships that aren’t based in transactional connections, but genuine, long-lasting communal bonds. We value integrity over monetary contributions and social status.
Our History: What We’ve Done
- 2018: Launched Syracuse’s first and only Black business directory that grew to over 150 listings. Thanks to community donations we have been able to upgrade our directory and add premium options.
- March 2019: We hosted our annual The Harriet Tubman Museum Meet Up in Auburn, NY. The museum hosts stated that it was the most visitors that have seen in a day (without it being a planned class trip).
- March 2019: To commemorate Women’s History Month, we run our annual collaborative campaign with The Cuse Girl to encourage local Black girls and women to donate the hair extensions and beauty products they no longer use to others in need.
- April 2019: We hosted our first #BuyBlackSYR (our official hashtag) pop-up shopping event at Wildflower’s featuring several local Black entrepreneurs including good eats by a local Black chef!
- June 2019: We participated in RailLine’s and WildFlower’s 1st Annual Crafted Festival and acted as host for a few local Black businesses (June)
- August 2019: We hosted our 1st Annual 3-Day “Coming Back Together: A Taste of Black ‘Cuse Food & Drink Festival We hosted over 500 guests thanks to our vendors, volunteers, sponsors, and guests. We declared that week following up to the food and drink festival as #BlackJoySYR Week. The festival was the first of its kind in Central New York. See a recap of the festival here: www.ATasteofBlackCuse.com.
- September 2019: We hosted 1st Annual Syracuse’s Fashion Row: #WeAreCultureSYR Fashion & Beauty Affair co-hosted with Style & Snow. That night we celebrated 5 local fashion and beauty entrepreneurs who are making a difference in the community. We declared the week of this event as #BuyBlackSYR Fashion and Beauty Week. Our in-house photographer/videographer Chris LueMung of Oscar Demure Photography created a video of the host telling their stories. The video can be found on our Facebook and Instagram pages.
- We also started popular hashtags: #BuyBlackSYR, #BlackJoySYR, #TasteBlackCuse, #BlackWallStreetSYR, #BuyBlackBooksSYR, #BlackMusicSYR
- Started podcast Black Cu$e to feature local Black entrepreneurs and community leaders.
NOTE: We did these events will little to no budget but with the help of some amazing volunteers and sponsors.
Our Goals: What We Plan to Do
Note: This is a very short list.
- We plan to continue all of the annual events and collaborative projects that was listed above.
- BuyBlackCNY.com will be our online marketplace where you can #BuyBlackCNY in one place. We are accepting vendor applications. We plan to start selling a #BuyBlackSYR holiday box. Ultimately, we plan to open up a brick and mortar multi-vendor marketplace that will include a co-kitchen.
- BuyBlackSyracuse.com is where we sell our own merchandise.
- A Taste of Black Central New York: Every five years, we will invite Black-owned food entrepreneurs all over Central New York to showcase their skills. The first event will be in 2025.
- 1st Annual The Art of Black ‘Cuse/CNY: A Met Gala-like invite only event celebrating Black creatives.
- 1st Annual #BuyBlackBooksSYR Book Fair
- Annual Halloween Costume Fundraising Event: This will be our annual fundraising event where we come together for fun and adult activities.
- Coming Back Together: ‘Cuse Kwanzaa Crawl festivities: The Kwanzaa version of “A Taste of Black ‘Cuse”. This will be a one-day event.
- Programs: We are working on launching our membership program, college ambassador program, job shadowing program, intern and volunteer program, and our liaison program (an effort to connect with Black community members across the diaspora).
- Speaking engagements: We already have two renowned entrepreneurs that have agreed to come speak at our events once we secure funding.
- Think Tank: #BlackWallStreetSYR: At these events, we will have a few presenters (including the youth) that will do presentations about the business they want to start or have already started and have an open discussion with guests about available resources and potential connections.
- Business Showers: After Covid-19, this event will host up to 3 Black business owners (including “aspiring entrepreneurs”) and encourage guests to bring tangible items (including gift cards) that will help the new business owners. During Covid-19, this event will be virtual with a different format.
- We will host more #BuyBlackSYR Pop-Up Shop Events
- We are working on two mobile apps and a business registry site where local Black businesses can list business needs.
- We plan to give away small grants to help local Black business over start-up costs.
The #BuyBlackSYR Pledge:
- I will start my shopping experiences by asking “Can I buy this Black-owned”? I know that even if I find a Black-owned product/service, I don’t have to commit to purchase if it doesn’t fit my standard. However, I promise to get in a “But, is it Black-owned?” mindset.
- After making a purchase from a Black-owned business, I promise to be intentional about writing positive, genuine reviews.
- I promise to challenge myself not to go on anti-Black rants about not working with Black-owned businesses because of (one) bad experience doesn’t represent all just like when I shop at non-Black businesses.
- I promise to treat Black business owners with the respect and understanding that Black businesses face an unique form of racism and often have smaller teams and less funding to maintain business.
- I understand that more “buying Black,” it’s important to see Black people’s humanity and act accordingly. #BlackLivesMatter
Our Partners & Initiatives
A Taste of Black ‘Cuse: #TasteBlackCuse
Our #TasteBlackCuse initiative is to highlight local Black food entrepreneurs through events, programs and digital campaigns.
Style & Snow: #WeAreCultureSYR & Syracuse’s Fashion Row
This is our collaborative efforts with Style & Snow (Syracuse’s premier fashion & beauty site) to celebrate local Black creatives.
Black-Owned Central New York: #BuyBlackCNY & #TasteBlackCNY
This is our collaborative efforts with Black-Owned CNY to highlight Black entrepreneurs throughout Central New York.