Supporting Black owned business during and after Small Business Saturday
FERNDALE, Mich. - Growing up, Shannon Reaves had a passion for helping people pamper themselves.
"It was a hobby of my mom's, initially," Reaves said. "So, she learned to make soaps and lotions and I just got so into it."
Reaves passion turned into a small business called "Bath Savvy." She makes natural soaps, sugar scrubs, bath bombs and much more. But, navigating the COVID-19 pandemic came with new challenges, like closing her in person store and moving online - while partnering with other businesses.
"My initial was like oh now we don't want to go out in public and we don't want to get exposed," Reaves said. "So with that, we just started communicating with our customers letting them know we're still here."
Reaves' is far from the only business owner struggling. The CEO of The Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce, Sandy Baruah, said half the businesses on Yelp have shut their doors for good because of the pandemic - and businesses owned by people of color are experiencing a disproportionate hit.
"It's always been the case that our businesses owned by Black Americans and other people of color are generally smaller businesses," Baruah said. "They have less resources available to them, so they're a bit more fragile."
Vershion Young owns Shionne Designs, a boutique inside the Arts Building in Ferndale. When you visit, you'll find a Bath Savvy display, jewelry and art from acriss the world.
Now as uncertainty surrounding the pandemic continues, these owners said it's critical to shop small - long after Small Business Saturday ends.
"We don't know what's going to go on as far as a vaccine," Young said. "We don't know how safe we will be heading into the new year. So, it's really important we come out and support each other."
"Having the support of the community is the way we can make it through," Reaves said. "We have to support each other, or we will all go under."