PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — This year, instead of just Black Friday, it’s #BlackShopFriday. 

Inspired by the Chicago Urban League, it’s a chance for us to support the black-owned business in our communities.

Here in Peoria, some black business owners say what their careers mean to them and their families.

“[It’s] more than just being a black business owner in Peoria, it’s being an example before my kids. It’s being an example before children, before our young people, letting them know that you don’t always always have to depend on someone else to give you a paycheck. That you can follow the things that you love, do them with passion, and they will pay off,” said Gailya Watson, founder and owner of G’s Creative Creations.

Now more than ever, small businesses ask for loyalty and community engagement. For Watson, adding her products to your shopping cart means helping to provide for her family.

“We need to recognize that the money we put into our community supports our community. Whether it be black, white, Hispanic, it doesn’t matter. We just really need to reach out and take care of our own,” Watson said.

One business, Angel’s Place, has been in our community for over ten years. The thrift shop features hand-made wigs for women. Owner Thena “Angel” Kyle says she loves working with hair and making women feel beautiful.

“That’s the key. Love what you do, and you’ll do your best. And my mother and father are up in heaven looking down, and I know they’d be proud,” Kyle said.

Josh Cannon and his brother Bryan opened 1 Hundred Degrees Fashionwear a few weeks ago. Cannon says the best thing we can do to support black businesses in Peoria is to make purchases and spread the word.

“Just shop with them, you know? Just support, buy something. One purchase or one buy from somebody means a lot. And I know that firsthand, so I just try to support. Everything, I get my shoes, everything, I get from other black-owned businesses,” Cannon said.

G’s Creative Creations and 1 Hundred Degrees are both offering Black Friday deals. If you want to get involved in #BlackShopFriday, Discover Peoria made a list of black-owned businesses.

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