More than 100 minority-owned businesses are participating in the fifth annual 502 Black Business Week, which begins on June 19.
To commemorate the Juneteenth holiday, local businesses will provide discounts and special offers to customers all week.
“502 Business Week is a celebration of Juneteenth, but it is also to help highlight or promote some of Louisville’s best Black-owned businesses in the city,” explained Tiandra Robinson, owner of the marketing firm T. Marie Consulting and founder of 502 Black Business Week.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, African Americans make up 24% of Louisville’s population, but only 2.4% of local business owners.
When Robinson started 502 Black Business Week in 2018, it featured just 14 businesses. This year’s event has 127 participating businesses offering apparel, business/education services, health and wellness and more.  
“These businesses, for the most part, have always been around,” Robinson said. “It’s just that this concept of 502 Black Business Week is now helping them get the exposure that they need. Black-owned businesses usually don’t have the budget to market their businesses outside of social media.”
502 Black Business Weeks begins June 19 and runs through June 25. The start date coincides with Juneteenth, which is considered the official end of American slavery because it is when enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, learned they were free.
President Joe Biden officially made Juneteenth a federal holiday in 2021. 
During 502 Black Business Week, participating businesses will offer deals, promotions and discounts to increase revenue and traffic. For mobile-based businesses, customers should check the company’s website and social media pages. Customers must mention 502 Black Business Week to get the available discounts and offers.
A handful of the participating businesses include: Brew & Sip Coffee Bar, Pocket Change, NOIR Realty Inc., Cedar Cafe, Diamonds & Strut, Prestige Tax Services, Hip Hop Sweet Shop, Vier Beauty Lounge, Garden Girl Foods and Six Forks Burger Co. You can click on each category to learn more about each of the businesses and their discounts here.
Robinson said the companies participating in 502 Black Business Week had to pay a small fee to be listed on the website. It was $40 for businesses with a physical location and $25 for other businesses.
“Usually when you have a physical location, you’re more than likely going to have more traffic than companies that don’t have a physical location,” Robinson said.
Zuri Golston, owner of Sip Pretty, said 502 Black Business Week also provides a chance to network with other minority entrepreneurs. Golston said she and husband Keenan opened their wine accessory business in April 2021, just a few months before they participated in last year’s event.
Golston said the exposure from 502 Black Business week helped get Sip Pretty wine glasses and accessories in area stores, and it allowed the her and her husband to make some valuable contacts.
“It was a great networking opportunity for us,” Golston said. “We were able to share information with other Black business owners and we ended up in the MELANnaire Marketplace [another Black business showcase].”
Robinson’s company also organizes 502 Black Eatz Week to highlight Black-owned restaurants and food trucks. It usually takes place in October.
You can find more information on 502 Black Business Week here.
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