Detroit Regional Chamber > Racial Justice & Economic Equity > 8 Ways to Find Black-Owned Businesses in Southeast Michigan

8 Ways to Find Black-Owned Businesses in Southeast Michigan

August 17, 2021

Recent census data shows there are about 3.12 million Black-owned businesses in the U.S., and many are in Michigan. Despite this abundance, finding local Black-owned businesses can be challenging, mainly because people do not know where to find them.

To remedy this, business owners and developers have created websites and apps to help people source Black-owned businesses around the world. Here is a list of eight apps and websites you can use to find Black-owned businesses in Southeast Michigan.

  1. Color of Change’s Black Business Green Book is an online directory that was created to help Black-owned businesses keep their doors open during the pandemic. Its impact has been long-lasting. The directory allows users to filter their search for businesses by industry, including home goods, health and wellness, art and photography, food and drink, fashion and clothing, books, and body and beauty. It also allows users to filter their search by state and online only. Michigan currently has 21 businesses listed, but more can be added through submission.
  2. WeBuyBlack (WBB) is the largest Black-owned business marketplace. They describe themselves as “a movement to see social and economic justice globally.” On WBB, buyers can shop for regular household items, books, arts and collectibles, games, holiday items, clothing, jewelry, and more. In addition to adding their store to the marketplace, sellers are also able to take advantage of the marketing and advertising services WBB provides, including brand development, social media management, content development, and business consultation.
  3. The Nile List (TNL) is a digital community that connects consumers with Black-owned brands that sell products and services. Consumers can find products by category and source vendors for events, including local events, conferences, pop-up shops, holiday events, and office events. Some sellers on TNL also provide exclusive codes for buyers who find and shop their business through the platform.
  4. The Black Mall (TBM) connects people who want to shop and support Black-owned businesses with Black-owned businesses and products throughout the nation. They have an online platform as well as a mobile app that allows users to shop for products on the go, including clothing, accessories, beauty products, food and beverage items, health products, and household products.
  5. EatOkra is an app and online marketplace that helps foodies source Black-owned treats and restaurants. On the app, you can put in your location and find restaurants near you that you can dine in at or order delivery from. You can also get directions to the restaurant right from the app, view its open hours, reviews, and the type of food they serve, check in when visiting, bookmark the listing for later, and rate it once you’ve eaten there. Currently, EatOkra lists restaurants as local eats, vegan/vegetarian-friendly, soul food, African cuisine, Caribbean cuisine, and breakfast and brunch. On the EatOkra marketplace, which can be accessed online and via the app, you can find individual food items for sale by Black-owned businesses. You can filter it by mealtime (breakfast, lunch, or dinner), type of food, or just search through individual vendors.
  6. I Am Black Business is an online and mobile Black-owned business directory. The directory was created to educate Black business owners on the power of technology and to give them a tool that will help them improve their business reach and profitability. The founders also shared it was created “to equip customers with a tool that will allow them to consciously decide where they spend their money and who they are supporting.” There are currently over 1,600 Black-owned businesses listed on I Am Black Business.
  7. GotSoul? is another restaurant guide and food experiences app that features over 4,300 African-inspired restaurants and dining experiences in the U.S. Some of the food styles included are Cajun, Creole, Nigerian, Gullah, Jamaican, and Afro-Brazilian. Approximately 98% of restaurants on the app are Black-owned. In addition to sourcing restaurants and food experiences on the app, users can also find time-based discounts and catering and delivery options.
  8. Black Bottom Archives (BBA) is a community-driven media platform that’s dedicated to “centering and amplifying the voices, experiences, and perspectives of Black Detroiters through digital storytelling, journalism, art, and community organizing with a focus on preserving local Black history & archiving our present.” A main feature of BBA is the Black Business Directory. It only features Black-owned businesses in Southeast Michigan, all separated by categories, such as accessories, arts and culture, catering and professional chef services, and hair and skin products.