Effort underway to help Black-owned businesses in Loudoun County

A new website is making waves in Loudoun County, introducing shoppers to support Black or minority-owned businesses.

After George Floyd's death and demonstrations across the country, many have grappled with social justice issues and racial equality, it's raised questions from how to speak about these topics with your kids, to how to give back.  

Now the founders of Loudoun Shops Black want to do their part to encourage people to help with their wallets. The website launched just days ago.  

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So far, roughly 70 Black and minority-owned businesses throughout Loudoun County are listed by category – from salons to restaurants, to bakeries to clothing shops. 

Co-founder Leah Fallon, who's a white woman, says they started the site to provide a resource for allies of Black Lives Matter. 

In a statement to FOX 5, Fallon adds: "Spending money at Black-owned businesses is a way to show support. Vote with your dollar, speak out about important issues by being intentional where you bring your business."

FOX 5 caught up with one of those business owners, Johnny Ray of Johnny Ray's Sultry Soul Food in Sterling. 

"Black-owned businesses are so misunderstood. They think it's only a hustle but we want to franchise, we want to grow. The website definitely helps us, it allows for more exposure, especially during this time... it's great and brings traffic in," said Ray. 

A customer at the restaurant, Latshia Bridges, says it's helpful to have a resource readily available so people can support these businesses, especially at this time.
Johnny Ray says Black and minority-owned businesses often get overlooked and he's looking forward to getting new customers. He says this is a time in the country where we need to all help each other. 

Fallon says this is an easy to use resource – she's never heard of a lot of the businesses but she's thrilled to check them out and help spread the word.