The effects of the unyielding and unexpected COVID-19 pandemic has taken lives and disrupted the livelihood of others, in some cases forever. The African-American community has sustained disproportionately high COVID-19 deaths and unemployment. Conversely, government relief distributions to businesses owned by people of color were disproportionately low, leaving many in the African-American business community without funding and with limited resources. Finding a path forward to survive and thrive in an era of social distancing forces business owners to rethink their previously successful business models. As the community suffers through the uncertainty of it all, remaining to their goals of service and support to the community, African-American sororities and fraternities are stepping up. Kansas City’s own Black Greeks created an effort that has already generated more than $11,000 in sales to nineteen Black-owned businesses the weekend of May 16th, with the launch of Black Impact KC.
Recognizing the challenging time and the opportunity to drive change, the National Pan-Hellenic Council of Greater Kansas City (NPHC-KC), along with KC Soul, created and launched the Black Impact KC effort to drive attention to and encourage the metro area to directly support Black Business. Kansas City responded, discovering new eateries, returning to old favorites and injecting thousands of dollars into the economy at the same time.
The NPHC-KC recognizes restaurants are only a piece of the locally economy negatively affected, so the Black Impact KC effort also includes a separate spotlight award of $100 for ten other businesses along with promotional support to build awareness of their businesses. The ten recipients are: Woodley Building Maintenance, Blessed T-Shirts, Luse Hairs Salon, Dr. Bertram Caruthers Jr., MD, T-Shirt King, Five Star Tax Solution, The Director’s Cut Barbershop, Golden Gate Chapel, Ruby Jeans Juicery, Diversity Telehealth, LLC. Some of these businesses further impacted the community by donating their funds to nonprofits.
Additional promotion of Black-owned businesses will continue. True to the campaign name, organizers feel they were able to impact the community with dollars and hopefully spurred action among others to continue the support. Lumpkins says credit is due first, to the community who showed out to invest dollars and second to the Greeks of the NPHC-KC for supporting this effort that we can see directly impacts our community.
“We’ve received great feedback from our Greek members, restaurants and the community for this effort, so I’m sure we’ll see it continue.” In the meantime, Ken Lumpkins, the creator of this initiative, says there’s an easy way the community can find and continue support of Black-owned restaurants. “The KC Soul app includes KC’s most comprehensive list of Black-owned restaurants. Download it today for free, and continue standing in the gap and investing dollars in the community.”
For details on more efforts by the Greeks, visit nphckc.com or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. On Facebook, visit NPHC KC.