SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA/ KFTA) — As we celebrate Black History Month this February, there’s an organization really making an effort to celebrate and highlight minority owned local businesses across Northwest Arkansas.
Jasmine Hudson and J’Aaron Merchant of Jazzy Jae NWA are the creative force behind the social media pages Black-Owened NWA, a curated guide to Black-Owned businesses, including everything from dining, art and wellness to style, culture and events.
Hundson and Merchant joined KNWA Today’s Tavares Jones to preview this year’s Black-Owned Business Expo. scheduled for Saturday, February 27th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Shiloh Square in downtown Springdale.
The event saw great success in 2020 and now returns for a second year, with an overall need to continue to highlight minority-owned businesses, which have been disproportionately affected with higher closure rates, and lost sales from the pandemic.
“In 2020 about 41 percent of Black-Owned businesses shut down, compared to the national average of 22 percent. On average just in general, about 8 out of 10 Black-Owned businesses shut down within the first 18 months. So it’s really important that we amplify, celebrate black businesses and make sure they keep their doors open through marketing and commerce”. said Hudson.
Expo attendees can expect a Covid-19 cautious convention-style outdoor set up, with mask-wearing and social distance guidelines in place as guests go from table to table to learn, engage with and purchase products/services from the participating black-owned businesses.
The event is free and open to the public, for additional details click here.