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Indianapolis #BlackBusinessesMatter campaign launches

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A red fist in the shape of a heart: It’s the logo and the symbol of a new movement in Indianapolis called #BlackBusinessesMatter.

“It’s a heart and it’s also a unity fist and by design we wanted to make sure that people know they need to have their heart at the center of this,” the project’s organizer, Tamara Cypress, said.

Cypress says after some research they found that 41% of Black businesses have been greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, but she says the crisis only brought a problem to the surface that already needed to be addressed.

“Even before COVID, small Black businesses have really found it a challenge to kind of share who they are and for people to find their business, so I thought this would be a great way for us to start doing some storytelling,” she said.

Participants get a Black Businesses Matter window cling, they’re a part of a podcast put on by the Indianapolis Urban League called the “317 Experience,” and they get the opportunity to be in a monthly meeting with city leaders who have an interest in helping their businesses grow.

“We want people to come know the business and the business owners,” Cypress said.

So far, 77 businesses signed up to be highlighted as a part of the movement’s launch in the month of July. Then they’ll prepare to feature a second wave of businesses starting in August. In total, the goal is to showcase 250 Black-owned businesses.

According to Cypress, many of the businesses are in need of marketing help. You can get involved with the #BlackBusinessesMatter movement here.

Watch the video to see what the movement means to business owners, like Alpha Health & Wellness founder Dr. Sarita Sharp.