Northland BIPOC businesses featured in new directory
Over 100 minority-owned restaurants, retail shops, services and organizations are included.
DULUTH — Over 100 minority-owned businesses are featured in the newly launched Northland BIPOC Business Directory. The initiative by the city of Duluth , the Duluth 1200 Fund , the Entrepreneur Fund and Nomadic Black serves as a guide of Black, Indigenous, people of color owned businesses.
A brief program followed by a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Thursday at The Culture: Pop-up Co Lab , 317 W. Superior St.
The directory is intended for BIPOC-owned and -operated businesses in the Northland to provide resources, connections and awareness.
Chris Davila of Davila Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Consulting told attendees of his work to support first-generation college students of color at the University of Minnesota Duluth and the College of St. Scholastica who often lack social capitol.
"Having that social capital gives people an advantage. It gives them something to lean on when they are facing tough times, but if you don't have those connections and those networks in place, it's very difficult," Davila said. "So that applies in this situation here with entrepreneurs of color. It's a small group and sometimes we don't know each other and we don't know who to go to for support, and so that lack of social capitol can be really challenging."
LISC Duluth Executive Director Sumair Sheikh called the directory a "mechanism to show collective power, not only in one way to amplify the BIPOC businesses, but also how we can bring power to the rest of the community."
Duluth's Community Relations Officer Alicia Kozlowski encouraged others to support its diverse business community.
"Get out there, promote, support and uplift these businesses," she said. "Get them into your grant systems and grant opportunities that are coming up. When there's vendors and procurement systems, connect with them. That is how we're going to continue to move that needle on empowering inclusive economy."
Cultural events can also be added to the Northland BIPOC Business Directory at northlandbipoc.com .