By Aaron Allen
It has been two years since the death of George Floyd and COVID-19 engulfed the health of a nation. If there is a silver lining in all of the chaos, it is that an awareness around social justice was born out of the ashes.
In the wake of the deadly virus and the murder of Floyd that was seen around the world, many Black businesses saw a surge in business as citizens across the country rallied behind the notion that Black Lives Matter to provide overwhelming support for Black-led organizations and Black businesses.
“It was unbelievably beautiful and like they say, ‘George Floyd changed the world,’” says Nikita Mathis, owner of Platinum Plush Fashions, a fashion boutique in South Seattle, and Berry Therapy Chocolate Dip Strawberries, a creative event catering service using fresh fruits in a decorative fashion for client events. “He absolutely did change the world and as a result of that our businesses are thriving, and we are propelling at a fast rate.”
“Everyone around the world, whatever nationality, they just wanted to support Black businesses, they wanted to support Black people in general,” added Mathis. “It seemed like the world was celebrating Black people even to the point of wanting to spend their hard earn dollars with Black businesses, wanting to lift us up and it was just beautiful.”
Mathis admits that she did not receive aid from the large corporate entities that pledged financial resources to support social justice initiatives and local underserved communities, but she did see a considerable jump in revenue thanks to the increased support from non-Black patrons.
“I never thought I would see the day were White people, anybody but colored people wanted to deliberately spend their money with Black owned businesses,” says Mathis. “There was a huge surge that went into full effect once [the conviction of the officers responsible for Floyd’s death] came, and I know a lot of Black business owners including myself really benefitted from that.”