National campaign aims to support black owned businesses

Local businesses participate in Blackout Day 2020.
Published: Jul. 7, 2020 at 5:43 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - For 24 hours people were encouraged to spend their dollars at only black owned businesses.

“Our black dollars mean something. It means something. And it should be able to support some change,” Justin Epting, the owner of Quick Bites Soul Food, said.

The goal of the national campaign, Blackout Day is to demand change from businesses and corporations by not spending any money.

“When we have issues, it needs to be important to other companies and our government,” Epting added.

Epting is the owner of a restaurant in Bellevue.

“This soul food is the food that people grow up on. So when they come here they always feel like they’re back at home,” he said.

Epting said the campaign is a good way for people to learn more about black business owners like himself.

“You want to expect the same thing out of a back owned business out of any other business. Good customer service, good food. You’re not going just because they’re black. You’re going because they have good stuff,” he said.

To support the movement some local businesses shut their doors for 24 hours.

Others, like Be Yourself Boutique, stayed open.

“Their mission kind of really matched our mission. And you know we’re just trying to learn and you know keep working to make the world a better place,” the owner Jennifer O’Dell said.

She said it was important for her to be an ally.

“We want to walk the walk and not just you know talk the talk,” she added.

As many businesses in the Omaha area are highlighted -- Epting said every single customer is appreciated.

“You can go to McDonald’s. You can go to a gas station. You can sit at home and eat. I think it’s a privilege when you walk through that door,” he added.

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