Black Restaurant Week is kicking off Friday, October 2nd. Organizers are calling on everyone to help these restaurants stay open.
“Black restaurants don’t have many platforms. This is something that we need. Black restaurants have to come together. We don’t have that many resources. Networking is our way of building our platform,” says Chef Blake Cressey.
She’s the owner of Tasty Treat Restaurant in the 7th Ward. She’s been relying on her community to keep going through the pandemic.
“We have been making it through with our black supporters. They still come. They place their phone orders. They were at the door when we were doing to-go orders. If we had a window, they would have crawled through the window,” says Cressey.
In the French Market sits Meals from the Heart Café.
Since the start of the pandemic, they have had to reach out to people they didn’t need to before, the locals.
“The French Market is kind of picking up. Getting better, but we’re missing the tourists,” says James Doucette, general manager.
Just like everyone else they are figuring out new ways to stay in business. They are hopeful Black Restaurant Week can help get the word out.
“We’re moving into meal prep. We’re open late doing deliveries on Uber, and Door Dash, and all that good stuff. Everyone is just trying to figure out how to survive,” says Doucette.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the National Bureau of Economic Research says almost half a million black businesses have had to shut down.
J.P. Morgan states many had a tough time securing bank loans, finding investors, and growing their business.
All of that was just to get started.
Now with the COVID 19 pandemic black-owned businesses have issues securing federal help under the CARES Act.
Research show just 12% have secured the full amount they requested.
“That is why we have to stick together, us as community, because we don’t have that platform. We don’t have that speaking power. If we do speak, what justice will be done? It’s none. That’s why we have to stick together. Promote, support, and do everything in our power,” says Cressey.
“Everything is so fluid, but we’re going to be here. We’re going to figure it out one way or the other,” says Doucette.