Shop Local for Black History Month

It’s February!  And for Atlantans that means several things: bracing for that last cold snap we know is going to happen at any minute (Or maybe not, who knows?  Certainly not that oversized rodent who acts as the witch doctor of weather predictions.), Valentine’s Day, Mardi Gras, and this year Leap Day.  But covering every day this month is Black History Month.

I loved this month in school.  I loved learning about a new influential person each day who overcame odds to make a difference for their community and brethren.  Which leads me to wanting to make a difference in my community.

A couple of years ago I attended a lecture from the Georgia Department of Economic Growth.  I learned that Georgia was one of the top locations for women and minority entrepreneurs, and that for every dollar spent on a local establishment roughly $0.60+ stayed within our local economy (versus an out of state owned business where only $0.30+ stays within the state).

After reading Straight from the A’s article on Killer Mike and other entertainers rallying support of Atlanta black owned Citizen Trust Bank I realized I wanted to help spread the word as well.  So here is a list of black owned businesses in and around Atlanta.  Give them a try, use a new supplier, support your community, and learn some cool history along the way!

Readers are encouraged to add other black owned establishments to this list in the comments section.  

b & s

B&S Electric Supply Co. Inc.

  • Founded in 1977; current CEO is Clarence W Robie
  • Sells, distributes and installs electrical products
  • One of the Elite 8 for largest black owned businesses in Atlanta
  • Portfolio includes:
    • Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport
    • MARTA
    • General Motors
    • Proctor & Gamble
    • Toyota

 

 

performer BQE

BQE Lounge

  • Opened February 2013 by BQE Hospitality Group LLC
  • Located on Edgewood Ave near Historic Old Fourth Ward District
  • Menu comprised of classic southern staples with a chic, contemporary twist
  • Variety of activities in rotation including stand up comedy, karaoke, brunch, and live musical acts
  • Open for brunch, lunch and dinner
  • BQE stands for Brooklyn Queens Expressway

 

c d moody construction

CD Moody Construction

  • Founded in 1988; current CEO is C David Moody, Jr.
  • Provides services of construction management, design & build, risk management, & LEED
  • Ranked #46 of the nation’s largest black businesses in Black Enterprise Magazine
  • Project portfolio includes:
    • Hartsfield Jackson International Airport
    • The Roundhouse at Northyards
    • Georgia Hall (originally Grady Hospital)
    • Morehouse College

 

cigar city club

Cigar City Club

  • Opened in 2015 by Julius Bolton
  • Slogan It’s not a Hobby, It’s a Lifestyle!
  • Club features:
    • Humidor
    • Fully stocked bar
    • Lounge with a refined 1920s Speakeasy feel
    • Lockers for members
    • A full nightly menu
  • Event booking available
  • Official cigar lounge of Atlanta’s Cigar Guys Radio Show

 

h j russell

HJ Russell & Co.

  • Founded in 1952 by Herman J. Russell
  • One of the largest minority owned real estate firms in the United States
  • Family business, son Michael Russell is now CEO
  • Spans commercial & residential real estate construction and property management
  • Portfolio includes
    • Centennial Olympic Park
    • GA Aquarium
    • Woodruff Arts Center
    • Atlanta Symphony Hall
    • Lakewood Amphitheater

 

jay austin bow ties

Jay Austin Bowties

  • Founded in May 2009 and co-owned by Jay Austin
  • Started out selling customized survival bracelets and made the switch to bowties
    • also offer Happy Socks
  • Offer 5 different bowtie styles and a variety of prints; each tie is custom made
  • Prominent clients include Hall of Fame Receiver Larry Fitzgerald & Young Jeezy
  • Sponsor of the Atlanta Alpha Derby Party
  • All products made here in Atlanta

 

 

le petit marche

Le Petit Marché

  • Founded in 2008 by Marchet Sparks
  • Located in Kirkwood
  • Started out as a mirror to French markets with provisions and florals
  • Due to economy and consumer demand, Sparks remodeled her business to focus on baked goods, sandwiches and other delights.
  • Listed in USA Today’s 10 Best lunch spots in Atlanta

 

Legal Equalizer

Legal Equalizer

  • Released in 2015
  • Founder and creator is Mbye Njie from Macon, Ga
  • App created in response to deaths caused by racial tensions between police and the African-American community
  • Provides list of laws based on GPS location, video and audio recordings, and sends emergency texts letting contacts know you’ve been pulled over by the police and your location.

 

pvlse media

Pvlse, Inc.

  • Based out of Columbus, Ga.
  • Multi-media group with goal of creating a mature environment for education, awareness, and the discussion of polemical topics
  • Collage of writers, filmmakers, photographers, and radio DJs with varied interests
  • Topics range from:
    • sports
    • politics
    • fashion
    • education
    • race
    • sexuality

 

solar concierge

Solar Concierge

  • Founded in 2012 by Dana Redden
  • Goal is bring solar innovation and sustainability to the southeast and beyond
  • Aids commercial and residential properties to become solar
    • takes client from evaluation to development to implementation
  •  Focuses on empowering clients through knowledge, industry connections, and multiple funding sources

 

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