Web directory

Launch of a New Directory and Marketplace of Black-Owned Businesses in Canada

Discovering great Black-owned businesses in Canada is easier than ever with a new national online directory and e-commerce marketplace.

The Black Business Association of BC (BBABC) launched Black Biz Global on February 1 to mark the start of Black History Month. The National Black-Owned Business Directory was created to support Black Canadian-owned businesses with their global business visibility.

“Everything we develop and build in the BBABC is based on the current and future operational needs of our business community,” said Nerissa Allen, co-founder and president of BBABC. “Where are the gaps, where are the supports needed, and how can we meet those needs with maximum impact?” Businesses today need what I like to call “virtual commercial real estate” and that’s what we provide.

Black Biz Global was developed in partnership with Indigenous web design firm Longhouse Media and serves as an online directory and marketplace for consumers, other businesses and government.

The platform currently offers over 400 ads, with more being added every day. Black-owned businesses can register for free to receive their directory listing and there is an option to upgrade to a paid membership plan to sell products.

Visitors can insert their location on the site to find nearby restaurants, hair salons, body shops and more.

“We understand the challenge of trying to maintain an online presence as a small business or solopreneur, and we wanted to increase value beyond a traditional directory, Allen said in a statement. “By providing a platform where companies can also sell their products and advertise their services, we can offer them a virtual retail space. The lack of this is often a small business killer.

“Any Black-owned business across Canada can be listed on our platform. Whether it’s Nunavut Wellness Spa in Iqaluit, Northern Territories, or Tommies Jerk in Surrey, BC, we’ve created a space for them to be seen.

Nerissa Allen, co-founder and president of the BBABC./Submitted

Allen laid the groundwork for BBABC a few years ago when she started showcasing local businesses on a grassroots community Instagram page. The association officially registered as a non-profit organization in July 2020 following two major events.

“Our business was closed for three months due to COVID restrictions and we were also living through the trauma as a community of the murder of George Floyd, explained Allen, a mother and entrepreneur. “Feeling helpless and looking for a way to turn that pain and trauma into something uplifting and community-building was the driving force to save the organization and take it to another level.

“We wanted to give hope to ourselves and the community, and we thought the way to make a difference was to build economic strength within the community. Help keep businesses afloat during the pandemic.

Black Biz Global

Tommies Jerk of Surrey, led by CEO Tobias Brown, is one of hundreds of black-owned businesses listed on Black Biz Global. (@tommiesjerk/Instagram)

BBABC supports over 500 businesses across Canada in a variety of sectors, such as hospitality, engineering, tourism, arts, health and beauty, and more. The association has also organized partnerships with Climate Smart and Buy Social Canada to encourage and advance positive climate action and social value.

“We will continue to raise the bar and push for excellence in our business community,” Allen said. “We will continue to demonstrate leadership and commitment to social good and environmental sustainability through the design of our workplace, the programs we develop and the actions we take every day.