Thanks to the incredible efforts of our community coalition and the support of our generous donors, we are thrilled to announce a major milestone in our efforts to advance economic equity in the Denver region: the official launch of ShopBIPOC!
The ShopBIPOC story is a tangible example of how Center for Community Wealth Building (CCWB) and its community partners are creating a more just and equitable economy. The support of individual donors was instrumental in helping us to take on new projects like this that are driven by the needs and interests of our community partners.
Fostering Racial Equity Through Values-Aligned Spending
ShopBIPOC.com is helping Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC)-owned businesses connect to individual and institutional consumers who want to use their regular spending to advance racial equity.
CCWB began building the ShopBIPOC platform following the death of George Floyd. The racial reckoning of that summer led many entities to make statements in support of Black Lives Matter, including their desire to support small Black-owned businesses. Few, however, were able to match their expressions of support with actual changes in their purchasing, often expressing their frustration that they could not identify these businesses in their community.
In response, CCWB assembled a team of community collaborators in the small business support sector to develop a mechanism to connect consumers directly to BIPOC-owned businesses. We finally crossed the finish line and formally launched ShopBIPOC.com on August 31st!
To celebrate, we held a launch party at the People’s Building in Aurora! More than just a party, the gathering was an historic moment for the 450 (and growing!) BIPOC-owned Colorado businesses that are now part of the ShopBIPOC community.
ShopBIPOC can help pave the way toward a more racially equitable economy.
By responding to the interests of both individual and institutional consumers for a way to match their spending with their values, ShopBIPOC is quickly becoming a valuable tool in the work of building a more racially equitable economy. As large and small consumers shift the way they spend their money, they can help BIPOC businesses and the communities in which they are located to build wealth and to grow more resilient.
While systems-level changes will come slowly, the growing focus on values-aligned spending that ShopBIPOC taps into can help both consumers and businesses to see what real progress looks like. This is especially true as large institutional partners like the anchor institutions with which CCWB works begin to reposition how they spend their procurement dollars. Major local institutions from the City of Denver to the University of Colorado, Metropolitan State University of Denver, CSU Spur, National Western Center, and the City of Aurora have all endorsed ShopBIPOC and use the platform to find vendors.
Next Up: ShopBIPOC 2.0!
ShopBIPOC’S official launch, of course, is just beginning. We are already excited about the possibilities for ShopBIPOC 2.0. The next version will enable us to analyze site traffic to determine how consumers use the site and how (and which) businesses are realizing the most customer growth.