Bud Light is doing its part to help boost Black-owned businesses.
Through the coming months, the beer giant will air commercials during Thursday Night Football that showcase local Black-owned bars and restaurants with proprietors telling their personal stories of how they built their businesses. It’s part of the brand’s "Bud Light Thursday Night Shoutout."
Cleveland-based Beckham’s B7M Bar B Que, a family-owned Southern restaurant known for its ribs and Louisiana-fried fish and chicken platters, was the first business to be showcased ahead of the Cleveland Browns’ season opener on Thursday.
Bud Light teamed up with the food app eatOkra, a directory founded in 2016 and dedicated to helping eaters find and support Black-owned restaurants and food trucks in dozens of cities across New York, Chicago, Portland and others. The app has connected more than 150,000 eaters to more than 2,600 Black-owned restaurants, cafes, bakeries, food trucks and wineries across the country, according to its website.
A wave of support for Black-owned businesses on the eatOkra app sparked following the George Floyd protests and amid the continued Black Lives Matter movement.
Black entrepreneurs have also reportedly faced greater financial challenges compared to their White counterparts. Just 31% of Black business owners received the funding they applied for in 2018, compared with 49% of White-owned businesses, 39% of Asian-owned enterprises and 35% of Latino-owned businesses, according to a 2019 report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
What’s more, many small Black-owned businesses had more difficulty securing PPP loans during the coronavirus pandemic because they were either too small, or did not have relationships with big banks, forcing many to permanently close, economists observed earlier this year.