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‘The Real Black Friday’ arrives in August

James W. Wade III | 7/16/2014, 10:08 a.m.
Purnell has spearheaded this initiative in order to empower all consumers, but especially Black consumers to reach into their pockets ...

Business in the Black community is declining for various reasons.

The once vibrant Randall Park Mall and Euclid Square Mall is nothing more than a vision of memories now. How is it that these two malls in the Black community had every big anchor store did not survive but Beachwood Mall did?

Supporting businesses within the Black community used to be a prideful thing. Jimmy Mitchell, owner of Boot n Shoe; Donny West with West Fish Market and Bob’s Beverage were all Black business owners who are now closed and gone.

At one time, each community had their own movie theater, drug store and butcher shop. During the early 70’s, you had Bill White’s big store named Kings Men’s Shop and Don Weston owned the Fly Shop. These stores were supported by the Black community.

Now days, when you hear of Black Friday, you think of that day right after Thanksgiving to get a bunch is great deals. But a few Black entrepreneurs came together to change that meaning.

‘The Real Black Friday’ is the brainchild of LaRese B. Purnell in conjunction with so Kinky so Curly so Straight, the Urban Design Suite and NuLife Fitness Camp. Beginning on Friday, August 15, 2014, The Real Black Friday will commence.

The Real Black Friday is a day, which leads into the weekend of Saturday, August 16th and Sunday, August 17th, in which Cleveland and Northeastern Ohio will spotlight Black-owned businesses. Purnell, the founder of The Real Black Friday, has compiled a list of Black-owned businesses surrounding the greater Cleveland area. With this list and through the use of social media as well as the website www.therealblackfriday.com, he has reached out to local Black-owned business owners and asked that they register for this absolutely FREE event en masse.

The purpose of The Real Black Friday is to emphasize the sometimes overlooked Black-owned business market. The Real Black Friday is aiming to band these business owners together during this weekend to showcase their talents and treasures, while encouraging consumerism within these businesses. This consumerism will of course bring tax dollars to the communities the businesses serve. Another goal of The Real Black Friday is to reenergize the power of the Black dollar and emphasize the power of economics.

Purnell has spearheaded this initiative in order to empower all consumers, but especially Black consumers to reach into their pockets and spend their money in businesses that serve the underserved.

“I am trying to get as many Black business owners to come be a part of this great event,” said Purnell. His purpose is to unite the Black community together and give people a reason to do business with each other in the Black community.

In the past many have asked why Blacks are the only ethnic group who don’t own anything, like Little Italy, Jew Town and China Town. “We are seeking all Black Business owners to register for this great event,” said Purnell.

Purnell acknowledges other networking business like the Black Pages and others that have had Black business listed but wants to add a little something extra to his event. “I am not trying to work against anyone. I am just trying to unite us. I am not making any money off anyone who is signing up on the website,” said Purnell.

On Friday, August 15th, all Black-owned business owners who have registered for The Real Black Friday via the website (therealblackfriday.com) will display provided signage to indicate that they are a part of the weekend’s movement.

Media coverage will begin on that day, in addition, through therealblackfriday.com and other social media outlets associated with the events, businesses will be highlighted, spotlighted and listed for consumers. During The Real Black Friday weekend, consumers are asked to patronize as many Black-owned businesses as possible. There will also be a series of events occurring throughout the weekend held by Black-owned businesses that are also sponsors of the movement. “The ultimate goal is to make this a day we can look forward to annually in our community, similar to Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday.”

For more information, please contact LaRese Purnell, founder of The Real Black Friday at (216) 214-9710 or via email at therealblackfriday@outlook.com.